Shade Trees

9 Trees that Can Survive Flooding

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Trees vary widely in their flood-tolerance capabilities. While most trees can survive a week or two of flooding, prolonged flooding is bound to cause harm in many trees. Excess water causes tree death by suffocating the roots. Below we will discuss the trees that can survive flooding.

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  1. Black Tupelo

    Nyssa syvatica, commonly known as the Black Tupelo, is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to Eastern North America through Texas and Mexico. It has a light reddish-brown bark. Because of this, they are favorable ornamental trees for parks and gardens. They are best grown in non-crowded positions so that their beauty can be appreciated. Besides, the hollow sections of the tree bark form ideal places for beekeeping and honey production. 


    • Grows to 66-82ft, barely to 115ft
    • Its hard splitting wood is ideal for making both home and professional woodwork.
    • Aesthetic appeal to the surroundings
  2. River Birch

    The River Birch is a deciduous tree native to the Eastern United States. It is suited for soils that are too acidic for other tree species to flourish. In areas where mining is prevalent, the River Birch is used to reclaim the land by controlling soil erosion. The essential oils derived from the tree's leaves, barks, and buds have insecticidal and antibacterial properties. It produces brown and green catkins in April and May.


    1. Grows up to 80-100ft
    2. Ideal for land reclamation
    3. Provide essential oils with antibacterial and insecticidal properties
    4. Its distinctive bark makes it favorable for landscape use
  3. Overcup Oak

    The Overcup Oak is native to the lowland wetlands, from New Jersey to Texas and inland to include Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois. It is a deciduous tree that grows up to 66ft high, with a 31-inch wide trunk. It features uniform branching that results in a rounded shape makes it ideal for urban landscaping. Besides, it has a brilliant reddish or brown bark and green leaves that make it appealing to the eye. In fall, the leaves are yellow-brown, further enhancing the beauty of the tree. 


    • Easy to transplant
    • Grows in most soil conditions
    • Ideal for urban landscaping
  4. American Sweetgum

    Most of the trees that can survive flooding do not as magnificent and beautiful as the American Sweetgum. It grows to be as high as 150ft, with a trunk 2-3ft wide. You will easily recognize the tree thanks to a combination of hard spiked fruits and five stared leaves. In its first two years of life, when the branches are too heavy, the tree is symmetrical, assuming the shape of an egg. It grows naturally in the lowlands of Southeastern United States to include Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, and Texas. 


    • Avoid planting in polluted sites
    • Ideal for ornamental landscaping
    • Gives quite the unique look
    • The tree's resin is used to make medicines and chewing gum
  5. Hackberry

    The Hackberry goes by many names to include nettle tree and sugarberry. It is a hardwood tree that lives for almost 200 years. When provided with the best conditions, it can grow up to 130ft high. It has a beautiful rounded top and fibrous roots that proliferate fast. Though it prefers warm moist soils, it also does well on rocky hillsides. It has a tolerance for urban areas, thus ideal for street and urban landscaping. Its wood is ideal for fencing, but not furniture making. 


    • Edible berries that ripen in September
    • Ideal for urban landscaping
  6. Red Maple

    As its name implies, the Red Maple is used in the production of maple syrup during the spring. Its seeds are epigeal and start to germinate as soon as they are released. They only require a little amount of sunlight, moisture, and optimum temperatures. The seedlings do not flourish in canopied areas due to lack of sunlight. In case of a disease, fire, or pruning, the Red Maple can recover pretty fast. The tree is mostly widespread in Eastern and Central North America and grows to be about 100ft high. 


    • Used to manufacture maple syrup
    • Quickly recover in case of a setback
    • Germinates even in the worst of conditions
  7. Baldcypress

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    The Southeastern United States is the native home of the Baldcypress. Given that it is one of the trees that can survive flooding, it would be expected it flourishes only in swampy areas. However, this is not the case; it does fairly well in dry as well as wet soil types. The tree grows to be 120ft high and lives for centuries. It flowers in April, with the seeds that are produced every year ripening in October. It is cultivated as an ornamental tree for its light orange-brown color in summer and dull red appearance in autumn. 


    • One of the few conifer species that sprouts
    • Successful cultivation in far North including Canada
    • Slow-growing, but lives for long
  8. Weeping Willow

    The Weeping Willow has its origins in the dry areas of China. After being traded along the Silk Road to other parts of Asia and Europe, it has grown to become of the trees that can survive flooding. It grows to be 66-82ft high, with a lifespan of about 75 years. The branches are yellowish-brown with small buds growing on them. The green leaves are spirally arranged and turn golden-yellow in autumn. Flowers are produced in early spring. It is a popular ornamental tree in China and is also used for woodwork.


    • Grows rapidly
    • Useful for ornamental landscape
  9. Sugar Maple

    The Sugar Syrup combined with the black maple is the major source of sap for producing maple syrup. While other male spices can be used to make maple syrup, they have lower sugar content and contain dark syrup. It is native to the hardwood forests of Eastern Canada but can be cultivated in Minnesota, Ontario, and Scotia. The leaves are paired, wide and long with five lobes. Flowering begins in early spring, while the seeds fall in autumn. The seeds can flourish even in the shade. 


    • Used in production of maple syrup
    • Provides great shade
    • Produces winged seeds that result in heavy crops every 2-5 years

    Withstanding high water levels is not the only advantage of these trees. They are a unique tree species that has several benefits both to the environment and the cultivator. Always be sure to take care of the trees to prolong their life. 

    Be sure to check out our post on the best dogwood trees to plant. 

Tyler loves the challenge of finding the right trees for any piece of land.