Illinois Native Plants


Illinois Native Plants

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  1. White Flowering Dogwood Zones: 5-9
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Find the best selection of indigenous species for the State of Illinois here at Nature Hills Nursery and support native flora and fauna!

Choosing native trees for your State means you will know your tree will thrive where it is well suited to climate and soil because they originated there! They need less water once established. Native selections establish faster and tolerate the changing climate, weather, and anything else your State may have to offer.

Plus you’ll feed pollinators pollen and nectar, seeds for songbirds, and provide shelter, food, and forage for a wide variety of wildlife like the Northern Cardinal, which is the Illinois state bird.

Best Illinois Native Trees

illinois native trees

The Land of Lincoln can have a varied range of habitats from coniferous forests, plains, deciduous forests, and grasslands. Ranging from USDA growing zone 5 in the northern half to zone 6 in the southern half, Illinois can have cold winters and warm summers with a wide range of fluctuating temperatures throughout the year.

Find your Hardiness Zone, and then choose any tree that has a range that includes yours! Check with your local County Extension Office for more information if needed and for the many microclimates within these zones.

Best Native Evergreen Trees For Illinois

Many conifers and broadleaf evergreens can be found in Illinois mixed forests! Check out these trees that keep their leaves year-round for privacy, slow down the wind and drifting snow, and add winter interest.

  • American Holly Trees
  • American Larch (deciduous conifer)
  • Bald Cypress Tree (deciduous conifer)
  • Eastern Red Cedar Tree (Redcedar)
  • Eastern White Pine
  • Loblolly Pine
  • Possomhaw Holly
  • Red Pine

Native Flowering Trees to Grow in Illinois

Feed pollinators and hummingbirds nectar and pollen they evolved alongside in your State! Many of these trees are host plants for native pollinator larvae too!

  • American Basswood/Linden Trees
  • Cucumber Tree Magnolia
  • Black Locust Tree
  • Carolina Silverbell Tree
  • Dogwood - Pagoda, White, Pink & Red Flowering, Gray, Roughleaf, Silky, & Swamp 
  • Eastern Redbud Tree
  • Pussy Willow Tree
  • Tulip Poplar/Tulip Tree
  • Witch Hazel (American Witchhazel)

What Are Native Shade Trees in Illinois?

Fall color abounds in Illinois, and the warm summers require a good, shade tree that handles snow load, gives your backyard lush relief from the sun, and goes big with an autumn show is a must-have! The White Oak is the Illinois state tree and is sure to give you all the shade you can handle for generations!

birch tree

  • American Beech Tree
  • American Chestnut
  • American Elm Tree
  • American Hornbeam 
  • American Hop Hornbeam
  • American Sycamore
  • Ash - Mountain, White & Green
  • Birch Trees - River & Paper Bark
  • Black Gum Tree
  • Black Willow
  • Box Elder Tree (Boxelder)
  • Buckeye Trees - Ohio, Red & Yellow
  • Cottonwood/Eastern Cottonwood Tree
  • Hackberry/Common Hackberry Trees & Sugarberry Tree
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree
  • Maple Trees - Black, Silver, Red, & Sugar
  • Northern Catalpa Tree
  • Oak Trees - Black, Blackjack, Bur, Chestnut Oak, Chinquapin, Northern Red, Nuttall, Overcup, Pin, Scarlet, Shingle, Shumard's, Swamp Chestnut White, Swamp White, Water, White & Willow Oak Trees
  • Quaking Aspen
  • Sassafras Tree
  • Sourwood Tree
  • Sweetgum (Sweet Gum) Trees
  • Washington Hawthorn Tree
  • Yellowwood Tree

Native Fruit & Nut Trees in Illinois

pecan tree

We love edible landscaping trees that look great and feed you and your local wildlife.

  • American Persimmon
  • American Plum/Wild Plum Tree & Chickasaw Plum
  • Black Cherry Tree
  • Black Walnut Tree
  • Hazelnut/Native American Filbert
  • Bitternut, Black, Butternut, Pignut, Red, Shellbark & Shagbark Hickory Trees
  • Paw Paw (Pawpaw) Trees
  • Hardy Pecan Trees
  • Red Mulberry Tree
  • Allegheny & Downy Serviceberry

Much Needed Natives!

Help keep your State's native biodiversity intact by planting trees native to your area! Nature Hills is committed to helping you preserve your State’s unique beauty with plants and trees that are sure to do well in your garden without impacting your native landscape!

Whether you are adding shade or flowers, privacy, or a long-lasting legacy to your landscape, Nature Hills is here to help you find the perfect tree for your Illinois landscape!

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