Maryland Trees Collection

One of the goals of the Glen Arboretum is to exhibit each of the native trees of Maryland. There are approximately 120 species of trees naturally occurring in Maryland. As of fall 2017 there are over 100 of these species species — ranging from large, fully established trees to newly planted seedlingss—growing in the Glen Arboretum. Please see the Trees of the Glen Arboretum (PDF) for more about the exact types of trees that are currently living in the Glen Arboretum.

Another goal is to establish many of the native Maryland shrubs. There are currently more than 30 species of native shrubs in the Glen.

Why Native Trees and Shrubs Are Important

Here are some of the reasons native Maryland trees are important to our environment.

  • Native trees attract native insects, which in turn attracts native birds who feed on these insects creating a thriving and sustainable ecosystem.
  • Bird populations help control undesirable insects.
  • Trees reduce energy costs through shading in summer and blockage of winds in winter. Trees and shrubs add aesthetic beauty to our Maryland habitats and provide food and cover for numerous animals.
  • Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and immobilize the carbon for long periods.

Top 20 Trees of Maryland You're Likely to See

Within the Glen Arboretum you will find, among many others, the following 20 trees. These 20 trees make up about 80 percent of the trees that you are likely to encounter in the forests of central Maryland. They are listed below by their scientific name, common name and organized by category. Each of the links below takes you to a database of plants on the site of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Cone Bearing Trees

Description — evergreen trees with needle leaves.


Description — trees with acorns for fruit, alternate leaves with leaf edges forming distinct lobes.

Trees with Opposite Leaves

Description — trees with two leaves attached at the same point and “helicopter” fruits.

Trees with Circular, Alternate Leaves

Description — trees with leaves that are as wide as long, circular in outline, alternate on the stem and have lobes and points.

Miscellaneous Trees

Description — trees with alternate leaves in various shapes.