Want to go native? Find the best selection of biological species for the State of Kentucky here at Nature Hills Nursery! Native trees are better able to cope with the local environmental conditions of an area and typically require less attention than non-natives and hybrids! They establish faster and thrive!
Choosing indigenous trees for your State means you will know your tree will happily grow for you with few issues! Tolerating local growing zones, and climate, weather, and anything else your State can throw at them! Plus you’ll feed pollinators, songbirds, and wildlife by providing them with a tree they recognize!
Best Kentucky Native Trees
Kentucky has summers that vary from warm to hot and humid, while winters are cool with occasional bouts of very cold arctic air. Kentucky is entirely USDA planting zone 6 (both 6a and 6b). Including a wide range of biomes from Bluegrass, to Appalachian Plateaus and Mississippian Plateau, from the Shawnee Hills to the Jackson Purchase. You will enjoy a wide variety of native trees in this State!
The Tulip Poplar Tree is the Kentucky State Tree but you have a wide variety of other native trees to choose from in this great state including the Kentucky Coffee Tree!
What Tree Grows Best in Kentucky?
Find your Hardiness Zone and then choose any tree that has a range that includes zone 6! Check with your local County Extension Office for more information if needed.
While many of these trees are native to much of the Eastern US, these are some of the most signature trees you will find growing in Kentucky!
Best Evergreen Trees For Kentucky
Check out these other Kentucky Native Evergreen Trees that keep their leaves year-round! These are favorites to the State bird - the Northern Cardinal.
- American Holly Bush/Tree
- Eastern Hemlock Tree
- Eastern Red Cedar (Redcedar)
- Eastern White Pine
- Loblolly Pine
Native Flowering Trees to Grow in Kentucky
Perfume your yard, and feed pollinators and hummingbirds nectar and pollen they evolved alongside in your State!
- American Hornbeam
- American Hop Hornbeam
- Bald Cypress Trees
- Black Gum Trees (aka: Black Tupelo Tree)
- Buckeye Trees - Bottlebrush, Red, Ohio & Yellow
- Carolina Silverbell Tree
- Dogwood Trees - Pagoda, Roughleaf, Silky, Swamp, Red, Pink, White, and Gray
- Eastern Redbud Trees
- Fringetree (Fringe Tree) & Grancy Greybeard Tree
- Magnolia - Southern and Cucumber Tree
- Oak Trees - Black, Blackjack, Bur, Red, Nuttall, Overcup, Pin, Scarlet, Shingle, Shumard, Swamp Chestnut, White & Willow
- Pussy Willow
- Sweet Birch and River Birch
- Tulip Tree (Tulip Poplar)
- Sourwood Trees
- Sweetgum Tree
- Witchhazel Tree
- Yellowwood Tree
What Are Native Shade Trees in Kentucky?
Kentucky can get some very warm and sunny summer temperatures so you need a shade tree to help beat cooling costs and give your backyard seating some lush relief from the sun! Plus you’ll need strong trees for the snow load in the winter.
- American Basswood (Linden)
- Blacklocust (Black Locust) Tree
- Box Elder Tree
- Catalpa/Northern Catalpa
- Cottonwood/Eastern Cottonwood Tree
- Kentucky Coffee Tree
- Hackberry/Sugarberry Tree
- Quaking Aspen
- Black, Red, Silver, and Sugar Maple Trees
- American Sycamore
- Washington Hawthorn
- Black Willow Tree
Native Fruit & Nut Trees for Kentucky
We love edible landscaping trees that look great and feed you too! Plus these and many of the trees above are wildlife trees that many creatures depend on for food.
- American Beech
- American Chestnut Tree
- American Plum and Chickasaw Plum
- Black Cherry Tree
- Black Walnut Tree
- Pawpaw Trees
- American Persimmon Tree
- Black, Bitternut, Butternut, Red, Shagbark, Shellbark, and Pignut Hickory Trees
- Hardy Pecan Trees
- Red Mulberry Tree
- Allegheny & Downy Serviceberry
- Hazelnut/Filbert Tree/Shrub
Much Needed Natives!
Whether you are adding shade or flowers, privacy, or a lasting legacy to your landscape, Nature Hills is here to help you find the perfect tree for your Kentucky landscape!
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 flora and fauna!