Ohio, once covered with forests, is now less than 20 percent woodland. The state is, however, still home to a wide variety of trees, many of which are suitable for home gardens. Some bear fruit, such as the black cherry; others give sap, like the sugar maple. The medium-sized Ohio buckeye is the state tree and the state nickname.
Ohio Buckeye Trees
Ohio's state tree--the Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra)--is distinctive with its five-point leaves and brown, round nuts with cream-colored faces. These native Midwestern deciduous trees grow to be 50 to 80 feet tall. Although the nuts are toxic, Ohioans celebrate their favorite tree by making chocolate-and-peanut-butter candy versions of the brown-and-cream-colored fruit.
Sugar Maple Trees
Another native Ohio tree is the sugar maple (Acer saccharum.) These deciduous trees grow 80 to 115 feet tall and have five-pointed leaves that turn vibrant orange and red in the fall. The sap of sugar maples is used to make maple syrup. According to the Ohio Maple Producers Association, Ohio ranks fourth or fifth (depending on the year) among the 12 maple syrup-producing states.
Black Cherry Trees
Black cherry trees, native to the Buckeye State, grow up to 60 feet tall and up to 30 feet wide. They thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones five through eight, which includes all of Ohio. Black cherry trees are prized for their delicate white blossoms that emerge each spring and for their round shape. These trees prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
The proliferation of apple trees in Ohio can be attributed to the legendary early arborist Johnny Appleseed, who made his way across the state planting apple seedlings. One of the state's most popular varieties of apple trees is the goldrush apple tree. This tree reaches heights and widths of 10 to 25 feet. Hardy in USDA zones five through eight, the goldrush apple thrives in full sun and produces white flowers in the spring.