Recommended List of Trees and Shrubs for University of Waterloo Plantings 
The purpose of this list is to ensure the use of native Ontario trees and shrubs in planting at the University. Native plants are the ones best suited for the Ontario climate. They are the ones that now grace the forests, shores and wetlands of this province. Their use adds an important element of ecological integrity to the University of Waterloo campus. Over time, the plantings of many non-native trees and shrubs should be replaced by native species whenever possible.
 
This is a list of all the trees and shrubs native to Ontario and listed in "Trees in Canada". Where marked "for demo only" etc., they might be grown for teaching purposes rather than as standard ornamentals, and then as single specimens or in a small group only. The trees are rated 1, 2, 3 (3 is best) or 0 for each one to be avoided. 
 
     
Eastern Red Cedar  Juniperus virginiana  3. Good upland tree. Plant on dry site. 
Eastern White Cedar  Thuja occidentalis  3. Use for hedges and informal areas mainly. 
Eastern White Pine  Pinus strobus  3. Good upland, dry site tree. Ontarioís provincial tree. Many more needed on campus. 
Pitch Pine  Pinus rigida  1. Maybe grow a couple on campus to exhibit the species, but not highly recommended because form is not attractive. 
Red Pine  Pinus resinosa  3. A wonderful tree! Use it to replace dying Pinus nigra. Handles drier soils. 
Jack Pine  Pinus banksiana  1. Does not generally have an attractive form as a specimen tree. Grow a couple because it's a major component of the Ontario environment and a major economic resource. 
Tamarack  Larix laricina  2. Use in wet soils only. 
Balsam Fir  Abies balsamea  1. Not a long-lived tree, and looks ratty when it gets diseased. Grow a couple for demonstration purposes in an out of the way area. 
White Spruce  Picea glauca  3. Good upland tree. Use extensively rather than Asian or European species. 
Red Spruce  Picea rubens  3. Good upland tree. 
Black Spruce    1. Not a good tree for gardens, but we could put a couple in the extension of the Dorney garden just for demonstration purposes. It's very important ecologically and economically. 
Eastern Hemlock  Tsuga canadensis  3. This will be grown in the Dorney garden extension. A nice specimen tree, but best in the woods. Good mesic to moist site tree. Handles sun or shade. 
 
 
Sugar Maple  Acer saccharum  3. Good upland tree for campus. Use rather than Norway Maple. Don't grow near parking areas - It's a dirty tree with sap drip. This applies to all maples. 
Black Maple  Acer nigrum  3. Grow on moist soil only. Excellent form. 
Red Maple  Acer rubrum  3. Good upland tree. Full sun needed. 
Silver Maple  Acer saccharinum  3. A stately tree but needs pruning to avoid ice damage. 
Manitoba Maple  Acer negundo  0. Not an attractive tree. It will spring up in weedy areas around campus anyway. Don't bother to plant. 
Mountain Maple  Acer spicatum  1. Small, short lived, and attractive small tree. Will be put into the Dorney Garden extension. 
Striped Maple  Acer pennsylvanicum  2. An attractive understorey species, but not long lived. It will be in the Dorney Garden extension. 
White Ash  Fraxinus americana  3. An attractive shade tree. Dirty foliage, so not to be placed near cars. Likes upland sites. 
Red Ash  Fraxinus pennsylvanica  2. Not as attractive as white ash, but worth planting in a few places. Likes upland sites. 
Black Ash  Fraxinus nigra  1. An important component of swamps, but not very attractive. Plant a couple for demo purposes in wet soils only. 
Blue Ash  Fraxinus quadrangulata  2. An Ontario rarity. Grows in mesic to moist soils. Plant a couple for demo purposes and see how they do. 
Pumpkin Ash  Fraxinus profunda  ? Recently identified at a few locations around Lake Erie. Consider only if available. 
American Elder  Sambucus canadensis  1. A good wildlife species, but smelly. Plant a couple in an out of the way place for demo purposes. 
Eastern Red Elderberry  Sambucus pubens  0. See above. Probably already on campus naturally. 
Nannyberry  Viburnum lentago  3. An attractive shrub already in cultivation. Can make a small tree. Berries stain. Keep away from seats and cars. 
Squashberry  Viburnum edule  3. Already in the Dorney Garden? As above, keep staining berries away from seats. 
Highbush Cranberry  Viburnum trilobum  3. Probably already on campus. See remarks above. Good flowers and fruit. 
 
 
Eastern Flowering Dogwood  Cornus florida  2. Good flowering tree of small size. A highly prized ornamental in the US and Niagara/Windsor etc. Flowers are likely to be frosted at UW, so don't use as a showpiece. 
Alternate-Leafed Dogwood  Cornus alternifolia  3. A wonderful small shrub, highly prized in European gardens. In the Dorney garden. Already in hedgerows on North campus, but plant more! The berries stain, so not near seats and brick paths etc. 
Burning bush/ Spindle tree  Euonymus atropurpureus  3. Attractive shrub. Don't plant over seats as berries can stain. 
Button bush  Cephalanthus occidentalis  3. An attractive shrub. Only for streamside sites in Waterloo Region. 
Butternut  Juglans cinerea  3. Attractive upland tree. Plant all Juglans spp. away from roads - nut husks stain pavement. 
Black Walnut  Juglans nigra  3. A wonderful large tree but poisons other plants and husks stain. Plant away from heavy traffic areas and car parks. 
Shagbark Hickory  Carya ovata  3. Attractive bark. Good upland tree. Needs warm site. 
Shellbark Hickory  Carya laciniosa  3. Good upland tree. 
Red Hickory  Carya glabra  2. Upland tree. 
Bitternut Hickory  Carya cordiformis  3. Good upland tree. Needs dry soil. 
Kentucky Coffee Tree  Gymnocladus dioicus  3. Attractive flowers and fruits. Already in the Dorney Garden. Needs warm site. 
Honey Locust  Gleditzia triacanthos  1. Subject to borer damage. Needs pruning frequently to maintain a good shape. Do not plant more than a few. Short-lived tree. 
Black Locust  Robinia pseudoacacia  0. Borer damage is frequent, needs frequent pruning. Already on campus as cultivars. Short-lived tree. 
Yellowood  Cladastris lutea  3. An attractive tree. Several are thriving in town even though this is beyond the natural northern limit of this sp. Plant a few. 
Prickly Ash  Xanthoxylum americanum  1. Not very attractive. Plant only a couple for demonstration purposes. Can be used to limit pedestrian traffic. Needs dry, sunny site. 
Mountain Ash  Sorbus decora  3. Very attractive. Good wildlife tree. Plant instead of European mountain ash. Good flowers. Attractive fruit. 
 
 
Mountain Ash  Sorbus americana  3. Attractive. Plant instead of European mountain ash. . Good flowers. Attractive fruit. 
Shining Sumac  Rhus copalina  2. Attractive. It wonít tolerate competition around the roots (e.g. periwinkle) - it rots out. Plant a few. 
Smooth Sumac  Rhus glabra  3. Attractive shrub. Likes dry, sunny sites. 
Staghorn Sumac  Rhus typhina  3. Already common on campus, and in the Dorney Garden. Excellent fall colour. 
Poison Sumac  Toxicodendron vernix  0. Foliage poisonous to the touch. Don't plant. 
Poison Oak  T. diversifolia  0. Foliage poisonous to the touch. Don't plant. 
Common Hop Tree  Ptelea trifoliata  3. Good shrub. There is one in the Dorney Garden. 
Sycamore  Platanus occidentalis  3. A good shade tree. Huge when mature. Attractive bark. Prefers full sun. 
Red Mulberry  Morus rubra  3. Attractive shrub. The fruit stains. Not for lawns where people sit or near cars or brick walks. 
Sweetgum  Liquidambar styracliflua  3. A good specimen tree but slightly beyond the northern edge of the range here. Needs warm site. 
Sassafras  Sassafras albidum  2. Attractive tree. Needs warm site. Won't grow to full size here. Use as a demonstration only. Already in Dorney Garden? 
Tulip Tree  Liriodenron tulipifera  3. A lovely tree. Does well on the campus already. Large size possible. Needs full sun. 
Red Oak  Quercus rubra  3. Fine shade tree. All oaks are good wildlife trees. Good on upland site. 
Black Oak  Quercus velutina  3. Good shade tree. Good on upland site. 
Pin Oak  Quercus palustris  3. Fine shade tree. Does well in KW. Likes upland site. 
Northern Pin Oak 

(Hillís Oak) 

Quercus ellipsoidalis  3. Good upland tree. Grows in North Dumfries township. 
Shumard Oak  Quercus shumardii  3. Good tree. Likes uplands. 
Scarlet Oak  Quercus coccinea  3. Good upland tree. Fabulous fall colour. 
White Oak  Quercus alba  3. Good upland tree. Nice bark 
Bur Oak  Quercus macrocarpus  2. On North campus. Good tree in moist soils, such as floodplains. 
Swamp White Oak  Quercus bicolor  2. Slightly less attractive, but still good in wetter areas. 
 
 
Chinquapin Oak  Quercus muehlenbergi  2. A smaller oak. Grow a few for demo purposes. Likes warm, south-facing slopes. 
American Beech  Fagus grandifolia  2. Good upland tree, but needs partial shade. Fine bark. Grows in the woodlots on campus. 
American Chestnut  Castanea dentata  1. Subject to chestnut blight which will eventually kill it to the ground, but it may sprout repeatedly from roots. Plant one only, raised from clean, disease resistant stock. Don't place where its loss would be an aesthetic problem. 
Witch Hazel  Hamamelis virginiana  3. Attractive southern shrub. Flowers in late autumn which may be useful in landscaping. 
Common Winterberry  Ilex verticillata  3. Attractive shrub for moist areas. Plant by the creek only. 
Mountain Holly  Nemopanthus mucronatus  2. Wetland shrub. Plant in informal areas only. 
Basswood  Tilia americana  2. On North campus already. Softwood, therefore subject to damage. 
White Birch  Betula papirifera  2. Short lived tree. Should be planted in place of European white birch. 
Grey Birch  Betula populifolia  1. There was a stand in Kitchener at one time. Plant for demonstration purposes only. 
Yellow Birch  Betula allaghaniensis  2. Good upland tree. 
Cherry Birch  Betula lenta  1. Native to only one site in Ontario. Likes upland. 
Speckled Alder  Alnus incana spp. rugosa  1. Unattractive shrub. Should be planted for demo purposes in the extension to the Dorney Garden. Need moist ground. 
Blue Beech  Carpinus caroliniana  2. On north campus. Big shrub, attractive bark. Likes partial shade, mesic soil. 
Ironwood  Ostrya virginiana  3. Good small tree. On north and south campus already. Handles sun or shade. 
Beaked Hazel  Corylus cornuta  2. Good wildlife shrub. Plant in informal situations only. 
American Hazel  Corylus americana  1. As above. 
Peachleaf Willow  Salix amygdaloides.  1. Plant only along the creek. Dirty foliage - not near seats. 
Sandbar Willow  Salix exigua  1. Shrub or small tree. For demo only. 
Bebb Willow  Salix bebbiana  1. As above. 
Pussy Willow  Salix discolor  2. Plant along creek. Nice catkins. Plant where they can be seen in early spring. 
 
 
Balsam Willow  Salix pyrifolia  1. For demo purposes only. 
Shining Willow  Salix lucida  1. For demo purposes only. 
Black Willow  Sallix nigra  3. Fine large tree for streamsides. Don't confuse with crack willow and its hybrids from Europe. 
Meadow Willow  Salix petiolaris  1. For demo purposes only. 
Heartleaf Willow  Salix eriocephala  1. As above. 
Satiny Willow  Salix pellita  1. As above. 
Balsam Poplar  Populus balsamifera  1. Not a good ornamental: Dirty foliage and ice damage. Only for demo purposes. Suckers of all poplars will spread. Impressive balsam odour of foliage. 
Eastern Cottonwood  Populus deltoides spp. deltoides  1. See above. Seeds make a mess. Plant away from formal areas. Can become a very large tree. 
Trembling Aspen  Populus tremuloides  1. Not a long lived tree, but very important ecologically. Plant as demo only. 
Largetooth Aspen  Populus grandidentata  2. Good upland tree. Attractive foliage. 
White Elm  Ulmus americana  3. Grows on north campus. Subject to Dutch elm disease. Chose cultivar resistant to disease. Likes upland site. 
Rock Elm  Ulmus thomasii  1. Plant for demonstration only. Subject to Dutch elm disease, so plant where its loss will not matter. 
Slippery Elm  Ulmus rubra  3. Good tree. Choose cultivar resistant to Dutch Elm disease. Likes upland site. 
Hackberry  Celtis occidentalis  2. Attractive tree. There is one on North campus by Fischer-Hallman road. Upland sites. Handles moist to mesic soil. 
Dwarf Hackberry  Celtis tenuifolia  1. Small tree. Plant for demonstration only 
Downy Serviceberry  Amelanchier arborea  3. Wonderful large shrub. Plant frequently. 
Smooth Serviceberry  Amelanchier laevis  3. Very good shrub. Plant frequently. 
Saskatoon Berry  Amelanchier alnifolia  1. Very good shrub. In Dorney Garden? 
Roundleaf Serviceberry  Amelanchier sanguinea  3. Very good shrub. 
Mountain Serviceberry  Amelanchier bartramiana  3. Very good shrub. 
Wild Crab Apple  Malus coronaria  2. Good flower show in May. Upland sites. 
Pin Cherry  Prunus pensylvanica  3. Great small tree for wildlife. Use in informal plantings. Mesic soil, full sun needed. 
 

 
Black Cherry  Prunus serotina  3. Excellent large tree. On North campus and by University Ave. Likes partial sun, mesic soil. 
Choke Cherry  Prunus virginiana  3. Common small tree. Good wildlife species. Use in informal plantings. 
Canada Plum  Prunus nigra  3. Attractive small tree. Use in informal plantings. Check for blackknot sensitivity. 
American Plum  Prunus americana  3. Attractive small tree. 
Hawthorns  Crataegus. spp  3. Good wildlife spp. Attractive June flowers. Taxonomy is confused so make sure that native spp. used only. Fall haw apples. 
Pawpaw  Asimina triloba  1. Interesting southern tree. Won't grow to full size here. Use for demo purposes only. 
Redbud  Cercis canadensis  3. A wonderful shrub. In Dorney Garden. Needs site sheltered from wind. 
Black Gum  Nyssa sylvatica  2. Attractive tree. Use for demo purposes. Won't grow to full size here. 
Cucumber Tree  Magnolia acuminata  3. A fine tree. Avoid frost pockets. 
Silverberry  Eleagnus commutata  2. 
 
We did not include Alaska birch which barely reaches NW Ontario. 

It might fail here completely, but we could try it for demo purposes. 

 
 

Compiled by Roger Suffling, Paul Eagles and Larry Lamb, July 1997.