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Nature
March 09, 2011
List of 20 Deciduous Trees That Can Grow In Southcentral Alaska

There's a really good chance that my wife and I will settle down in the Kenai Peninsula which is in southcentral Alaska.  So I want to know what kind of trees could be available to us.

I eventually want to get the book, Alaska Trees and Shrubs, but for right now, I found a list compiled by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (download).

Keep in mind that most of these trees are non-native to Alaska, but they will grow (some might even be considered invasive, so be careful).

I will eventually make others posts about the evergreens and the shrubs as well.  So stay tuned!  BTW, I also created a video which is basically a slideshow of all 20 deciduous trees.
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Deciduous Trees:
   
Amur Maple

Amur Maple

"It is also valued in Japan and elsewhere as a species suitable for bonsai. It is a nonnative invasive species in parts of northern America."

Douglas Maple
Douglas Maple

"Some Plateau Indian tribes drank an infusion of Douglas maple as a treatment for diarrhea."
 
Boxelder
Boxelder

"Although native to North America, it is considered an invasive species in some areas of that continent. It can quickly colonize both cultivated and uncultivated areas."
 
Norway Maple
Norway Maple

"Unfortunately, despite its good looks and urban hardiness, it releases chemicals to discourage undergrowth which tends to create bare, muddy run-off conditions immediately under the tree."
 
Alder
Alder

"It is sometimes used for afforestation on infertile soils which it enriches by means of its nitrogen-fixing nodules, while not growing large enough to compete with the intended timber crop."
 
Birch (paper birch)
Birch (paper birch)

"It has a soft, yet moderately heavy, white wood. It makes excellent high-yielding firewood if seasoned properly. Its bark is an excellent fire starter, burning at high temperatures even when wet.  While a paper birch does not have a very high overall economic value, it is used in furniture, flooring, and Oriented Strand Board."
 
Black Ash
Black Ash

"This wood is used by Native Americans of the North East for making baskets and other devices. The Shakers also made extensive use of the Black Ash for creating baskets."
 
Green Ash
Green Ash

"It is very popular due to its good form and resistance to disease. It is very popular, used in making guitars because it can be somewhat lighter than white ash without sacrificing too much in tone."
 
Tamarack Larch

Tamarack Larch In the Fall
Tamarack Larch

"It is a small to medium-size deciduous coniferous tree reaching 33–66 ft tall.  It is very cold tolerant, able to survive winter temperatures down to at least -85 °F.  The wood is tough and durable, but also flexible in thin strips, and was used by the Algonquian people for making snowshoes and other products where toughness was required.  Currently, the wood is used principally for pulpwood, but also for posts, poles, rough lumber, and fuelwood."
 
Apple and Crabapple

Apple and Crabapple
Apple & Crabapple
(Malus)


"Crabapples are an excellent source of pectin, and their juice can be made into a ruby-coloured preserve with a full, spicy flavor.  Apple wood gives off a pleasant scent when burned, and smoke from an apple wood fire gives an excellent flavour to smoked foods.  Crabapples are widely grown as ornamental trees, grown for their beautiful flowers or fruit, with numerous cultivars selected for these qualities and for resistance to disease."
 
Balsam Poplar
Balsam Poplar

"It is a hardy, fast-growing tree which is generally short lived, with some trees reaching 200 years. The light, soft wood is used for pulp and construction."
 
Black Cottonwood

Black Cottonwood
(Black) Cottonwood

"It is light-weight and although not particularly strong, is strong for its weight.  The wood is also excellent for production of plywood. Living trees are used as windbreaks. The wood, roots and bark were used for firewood, canoe making, rope, fish traps, baskets and structures. The gum-like sap was even used as a glue or as waterproofing.   The roots are however invasive, and it can damage the foundations of buildings on shrinkable clay soils if planted nearby."
 
Amur Chokecherry

Amur Chokecherry

"It is a deciduous tree growing to 4–10 m tall. The bark on young trees is very distinct, smooth, glossy bronze-yellow, but becoming fissured and dull dark grey-brown with age.  The fruit is a small cherry-like drupe 5–7 mm diameter, green at first, turning first red then dark purple or black at maturity. Flowering is in mid spring, with the fruit ripe in early summer to early autumn.  The fruit has been used in the manufacture of juice, jelly and jam."

 
Bird Cherry

Bird Cherry
(European) Bird Cherry

"The Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) is a species of cherry, native to northern Europe and northern Asia, growing even north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The English name refers to the berries, which are astringent and bitter-sweet, seldom used in Western Europe (but commonly eaten in Russia and elsewhere), readily eaten by birds, which do not taste astringency as unpleasant. It was used medicinally during the Middle Ages, and the bark, placed at the door, was supposed to ward off plague."
 
Common Chokecherry

Common Chokecherry
Common Chokecherry

"The very ripe berries are dark in color and less astringent than the red berries.  Chokecherries were for many Native American tribes of the Northern Rockies, Northern Plains, and boreal forest region of Canada and the United States the most important fruit in their diets. The bark of chokecherry root was once made into an asperous textured concoction used to ward off or treat colds, fever and stomach maladies by native Americans[10] The chokecherry fruit can be used to make a tasty jam, jelly, or syrup, but the bitter nature of the fruit means you need a lot of sugar to sweeten the preserves."
 
Siberian Pear (Ussurian)
Siberian Pear (Ussurian)

"Extremely hardy pear with an astringent fruit that, although it is unpalatable, makes a delightful vinegar. The tree has thorns, is a vigorous grower, very hardy, and produces a profusion of white blossoms which open about a week before the apples. Bright orange-red Fall color."
 
Bur Oak
Bur Oak

"It is one of the most tolerant of urban conditions of the white oaks, and is one of the fastest-growing of the group. It has been planted in many places north to Anchorage, Alaska and as far south as Edinburg, Texas."
 
Mountain Ash, Rowan
Mountain Ash, Rowan

"The fruit, called rowan berries in culinary usage, are usually quite bitter, but are used to make jam or jelly, with a distinctive bitter flavour. Due to wide range of European Rowan, fruits are used in many national kitchens to add their distinctive sour/bitter flavour to dishes or drinks."
 
Japanese Tree Lilac

"It is a deciduous small tree growing to a height of 12 m, rarely to 15 m, with a trunk up to 30 cm (rarely 40 cm) diameter; it is the largest species of lilac, and the only one that regularly makes a small tree rather than a shrub."
 
Small-Leaved Linden AKA Little-Leaf Linden
Small-Leaved Linden AKA Little-Leaf Linden

"In the countries of Central Europe and the former Yugoslavia, linden flowers are a traditional herbal remedy (linden flower tea), considered to be of value as an anti-inflammatory in a range of respiratory problems: colds, fever, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, cough and others. The white, finely-grained wood is a classic choice for refined woodcarvings such as those by Grinling Gibbons or several prominent medieval altars."

Watch This YouTube
Video About the 20 Trees:


If you live in southcentral Alaska, and you've had any positive or negative experience with any of these trees, I'd love to hear from you:

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alaska deciduous trees southcentral kenai peninsula amur-maple douglas-maple boxelder norway-maple alder birch black-ash green-ash tamarack-larch apple-and-crabapple balsam-poplar cottonwood aspen amur-chokecherry bird-cherry common-chokecherry ussurian-pear siberian-pear bur-oak mountain-ash japanese-tree-lilac little-leaf linden small-leaved-linden



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