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Cape Cod Trees On the Cape

The commonest tree on Cape Cod is the common pitch pine, or scrub pine. Next in frequency are the scrub oak and the juniper, or red cedar, as it is locally called. All these trees are native to the region.

White pines which are rather less common on the Cape, can be found scattered about the woodlands. Holly trees are present in small numbers as well.

Pitch pines grow forty or fifty feet high away from the water. On the dunes, they are stunted by lack of nourishment and stormy winds, and grow only twenty-five feet or less high.

Elms grow along the main streets of many of the towns, particularly in the business sections of Yarmouth, Hyannis, Falmouth, and Sandwich, A grove of Scotch pine is found in North Eastham, near the Camp Ground. The Shawme State Forest has 8,300 acres of pine, including some Japanese black pines.

Another familiar tree is the silver oak, or aspen, as more properly named, The aspen is very pretty to see when trembling and changing color in the summer breeze. One of the handsomest trees is the bay-leaved willow, which is often found near dwellings.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 04/11/06
Categories: Nature
Keywords: nature


I liked your article, but would like to see color pictures of trees indigenous to the Cape, so that I can identify them when I see them.  We have white pines in abundance in our area, as well as a couple of species of oak; also, some “weed” trees which I can’t identify.
Thank you for your info.

Posted by Nancy Ronayne from Marstons Mills, MA on 11/06/09 at 04:49 PM | #

Hi, I was wondering if someone new of a link that might have more info about trees on cape cod (outer cape especially), we have many more than are listed and I’m interested at being able to identify them.

Posted by Michael from Eastham on 06/18/10 at 09:40 PM | #

I would like to see colored pictures of the trees so that I can identify the trees.

Thank you

Posted by Dennise from bourne on 10/09/12 at 08:37 PM | #

I was under the impression that so called “scrub pine” was native to New Jersey, and was planted on the Cape after an enormous forest fire, partially because it grew fast and the goal was to reduce unprotected soil erosion.
What trees were on the Cape before the shipping industry, construction industry, and the Old Colony RR used much of the forested area on the Cape up for building and fuel? It couldn’t have been scrub pine as scrub pine is suitable for bon fires and not much else.

Posted by Richard Wayburn from centerville Ma on 03/16/13 at 01:51 PM | #

Are Aspen trees native to the cape, or a natural part of forest evolution, or are they invasive and problematic? I thought Aspens only grew at higher altitudes like in the Rockies.  What is the thinking of forest managers and conservation agencies regarding the cutting of trees in order to preserve water views.  I can see good arguments on both sides of this issue.  Also, what is the status of the black locust, sometimes the shrubs have thorns, sometimes not? Is it something that should be removed to reduce spreading it throughout the cape, or is it supposed to be here?

Posted by Robert Patten from United States on 08/13/14 at 03:33 PM | #

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