Recommended Tree Plantings for Tulsa, OK

Tree Recommendations for the Tulsa Area

The following are some recommended trees for planting in the Tulsa area. When it comes time to plant or re-plant trees it is always a good idea to consider neighborhood “friendly” trees. Given the size of most city lots this should be a continuing concern. The following trees all have their individual, special qualities and are height and canopy friendly for use in the city.

FOR THE FRONT YARD

Bald Cypress
40′ – 50′
Native tree. Tolerant of most soils, somewhat drought tolerant, tough tree. Bronze color in the fall.
Bradford Pear
30′ – 50′
Soil tolerant, drought resistant. Minimal pruning required. Autumn color is red.
Chinese Pistachio
25′ – 40′
Soil tolerant, drought resistant, pest and disease resistant. Deep rooted, minimal pruning, Tough, durable tree. Bright orange in the fall.
Thornless Honey Locust
40′ -50′
Native tree. Soil tolerant, tough, durable tree, fast-growing. Grass grows well underneath.
Kentucky Coffee Tree
40′-60′
Only the grafted male variety is recommended. Native tree. Soil tolerant, tough, durable.
Marshall’s Seedless Green Ash
40′-50′
Fast-growing, very cold tolerant. Minimal pruning required. Bright gold color in the fall.
October Glory Red Maple
30′ – 40′
Superior in every way to the silver maple. Red to orange color in the fall.
Redbud
20′ – 30′
Native tree. Soil tolerant, minimal pruning. Pink to purple blossoms in spring, yellow color in the fall.
Saw-tooth Oak
40′ – 50′
Highly recommended by Tulsa’s urban forester.
Shumard Red Oak
40′ – 50′
Native tree. Soil tolerant. Red color in fall.
Water Oak
50’+
Fast-growing, moisture loving, semi-evergreen.

FOR THE BACK YARD

Amur Maple 20′ – 25′ Fairly tolerant to dry and poor soil. Yellowish-white fragrant flowers in the Spring, brown to red in the fell.
Cherry Laurel 25′-30′ Tolerant of poor soils. Requires pruning to shape. Small white flowers.
Cherry • Oriental 15′ -30′ Requires rich, well-drained soil. Use only if shaded by larger trees. Very showy with white to pink flowers.
Dogwood 20′-25′ Native tree. Use only if shaded by other trees.
Flowering Crabapple 10′-35′ Soil and drought tolerant, fast-growing. Thrives in full sun. White, pink and red flowers.
Japanese Maple 15′ -25′ Fast-growing. Also effective in planters and tabs. Brilliant red to red-orange tall color.
Purpleleaf Plum 20′ – 30′ Same requirements as the Redbud. Rivals Redbud with flowers, foliage is purple the entire season.
Redbud 20′ – 30′ Native tree. Soil tolerant, minimal pruning. Pink to purple blossoms in spring, yellow color in fall.
Russian Olive 15′ – 20′ Durable, rugged, drought tolerant. Requires pruning to shape.
Soapberry 30′ – 40′ Drought tolerant, soil tolerant, pest free.
This list was compiled for the Copperleaf Homeowners Association by a friend, James McElyea, using the following sources:.
  • Guidebook for Oklahoma Landscaping: Tom Clote, Jr., Outside Inc. 1987.
  • Plant Materials Guide:  Barry L. Fugatt, OK State Univ., Landscape Horticulturist
  • Tree Tips:  A Planning Guide:  Public Service Co. of OK, 1992

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