Skip to Content

Urban Forestry Recommended and Prohibited Tree and Shrub List

The following are trees that are recommended or approved for being planted on residential and commercial properties in Nashville.

Canopy Trees

Trees that normally achieve an overall height at maturity of 30 feet or more – not for use under power lines. If tree matures greater than 50 feet high, plant no less than 45 feet from power line; if tree matures 30-50 feet high, plant no less than 35 feet from power line.

Deciduous Canopy

Common Name Botanical Name
Florida Maple/Southern Sugar Maple Acer barbatum
Black Maple Acer nigrum
Red Maple 'Armstrong,' 'Bowhall' Acer rubrum
Sugar Maple and varieties Acer saccharum
Ohio Buckeye Aesculus glabra
Yellow Buckeye Aesculus flava
Common Alder/Black Alder Alnus glutinosa
River Birch Betula nigra
Katsura Tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum
American Yellowwood Cladrastis kentukea
Common Persimmon Diospyros virginiana
Hardy Rubber Tree Eucommia ulmoides
Gingko Gingko biloba 'Princeton Sentry'
Honeylocust Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis
Kentucky Coffeetree Gymnocladus dioicus
Sweetgum 'Slender Silhouette' Liquidambar styraciflua
Yellow Poplar/Tuliptree/Tulip Poplar Liriodendron tulipifera
Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Black Gum/Black Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica
Amur Corktree Phellodendron amurense
London Planetree Platanus x acerifolia
Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima
White Oak Quercus alba
Swamp White Oak Quercus bicolor
Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea
Southern Red Oak Quercus facata
Cherrybark oak Quercus facata var pagodafolia
Overcup Oak Quercus lyrata
Shingle Oak Quercus imbricaria
Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa
Chinkapin Oak Quercus muehlenbergii
Nuttall Oak Quercus nuttallii (texana)
Willow Oak Quercus phellos
Chestnut Oak Quercus prinus
English Oak Quercus robur
Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra
Shumard Oak Quercus shumardii
Baldcypress Taxodium distichum
American Basswood Tilia americana
White Basswood Tilia americana var heterophylla
Littleleaf Linden Tilia cordata
Silver Linden Tilia tomentosa
Winged Elm Ulmus alata
American Elm 'Valley Forge' Ulmus americana
Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia 'Bosque'
Slippery Elm Ulmus rubra
September Elm Ulmus serotina
Japanese Zelkova Zelkova serrata 'Green Vase'

Evergreen Trees

Common Name Botanical Name
Cryptomeria Cryptomeria japonica
American Holly and cultivars Ilex opaca
Eastern Redcedar Juniperus virginiana
Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora
Norway Spruce Picea abies
Shortleaf Pine Pinus echinata
Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris
Japanese Black Pine Pinus thunbergiana

Understory Trees

Trees that normally achieve an overall height at maturity of 15 to 30 feet, can be planted at a distance of no less than 15 feet from power lines.

Deciduous Understory Trees

Common Name Botanical Name
Trident Maple Acer buergeranum
Hedge Maple Acer campestre
Amur Maple Acer ginnala
Paperbark Maple Acer griseum
Japanese Maple Acer palmatum
Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia
Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea
American Hornbeam Carpinus caroliniana
Eastern Redbud and cultivars Cercis canadensis
Chinese Fringetree Chioanthus retusus
White Fringetree Chioanthus virginicus
Flowering Dogwood 'white cultivar' Cornus florida
Kousa Dogwood Cornus kousa
Washington Hawthorn Crataegus phaenopyrum
Green Hawthorn Crataegus viridus
Franklin Tree Franklinia alatamaha
Possumhaw Ilex decidua
Saucer Magnolia Magnolia x soulangiana
Star Magnolia Magnolia stellata
Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana
Crabapples Malus cultivars/varieties
Apples (Heirloom) Malus domestica spp.
American Hophornbeam Ostrya virginiana
Sourwood Oxydendrum arboreum
Chinese Pistache Pistacia chinensis
American Plum Prunus americana
Chickasaw Plum Prunus augustifolia
Japanese flowering apricot Prunus mume
Flowering Cherry Prunus serrulata
Yoshino Cherry Prunus x yedoensis
Fruiting Pear Pyrus spp.
Japanese Snowbell Styrax japonicus
Japanese Tree Lilac Syringa reticulata
Littleleaf Linden ‘Green Globe’ Tilia cordata 'Green Globe'

Evergreen Low Growing Trees

Common Name Botanical Name
Foster’s Hybrid Hollies Ilex x attenuata ‘Fosteri’
Burford Holly -tree form Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordi’
Nellie R. Stevens Holly Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’
Little Gem Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’
Cherry Laurel – tree form Prunus caroliniana

Shrubs

Shrubs are woody plants with multiple stems capable of growing to a height of no more than 15 feet. Shrubs for Buffer Yards: One half of required shrubs must be evergreen species and reach a height of 5 feet within 5 years of planting.

Deciduous Shrubs

Common Name Botanical Name
Glossy Abelia Abelia x grandiflora & cultivars
Red Chokecherry Aronia arbutifolia & cultivars
Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii & cultivars
Flowering Quince Chaenomeles speciosa
Flowering Forsythia Forsythia x intermedia
Oakleaf Hydrangea Hydrangea quercifolia & cultivars
Finetooth Holly Ilex serrata
Winterberry Ilex verticillata
Virginia Sweetspire Ilex virginica
Beauty Bush Kolkwitzia amabalis
Viburnum Viburnum species & cultivars

Evergreen Shrubs

Common Name Botanical Name
Chinese Hollies Ilex cornuta cultivars
Japanese Holly Ilex crenata
Meserveae hybrid Hollies Ilex x meserveae
Chinese Juniper Juniperus chinensis
Leatherleaf Mahonia Mahonia bealei
Otto Luyken & Schip Laurels Prunus laurocerasus

Best choices for perimeter evergreen shrubs

(must be maintained at 2½ feet)

Common Name Botanical Name
American Boxwood Buxus sempervirens
Otto Luyken & Schip Laurel Prunus laurocerasus
Dense Yew Juniperus chinensis

Non-Recommended Trees

Common Name Botanical Name
Silver Maple Acer saccharinum
Tree-of-Heaven Ailanthus altissima
Minosa Albizia julibrissin
Paper Mulberry Broussonetia papyrifera, syn. Morus papyrifera L
Sugarberry Celtis laevigata
Hackberry Celtis occidentalis
Leyland Cypress Cupressus x leylandii
Russian Olive Elaeagnus angustifolia
Ash spp. (green, white, blue) Fraxinus spp.
Chinese Parasol Tree Firmiana simplex
Goldenrain Tree Koelreuteria paniculata
China Berry Melia azedarach
Royal Paulownia/Princess Tree Paulownia tomentosa
White Poplar Populus alba
Bradford Pear Pyrus calleryana (all varieties)
Pin Oak Quercus palustris
Chinese Tallow Triadica sebifera
Eastern (Canadian) Hemlock Tsuga canadensis
Siberian Elm Ulmus pumila

Prohibited Shrubs

Common Name Botanical Name
Shrub Althea Hibiscus syriacus
Nandina/Dwarf Nandina Nandina domestica

Commercial Use Only

Common Name Botanical Name
Green Giant' arborvitae Thuja standishii x plicata