Connecticut is a heavily forested state. Although small in land area – around 3.4 million acres – it is close to 60% covered by forests or, if just tree canopy cover is considered, 67% covered by trees. Looking to where the state ranks in the country, it is about 13th on the list of percent total forest cover, but first on the list of the percentage of urban lands covered by trees. This in a state that also ranks 4th in terms of population density.
Besides being small, heavily forested and densely populated, Connecticut’s trees are also highly heterogeneous.
Approximate Distribution by Tree Type
- 51% of the state is in the oak-hickory hardwood type
- 29% considered to be of the northern hardwoods type
- 9% elm-ash-red maple
- 7% red and white pines
- 4 % other
Please see the US Forest Service descriptions for further information regarding these forest types.
Ten Most Common Native Trees in Connecticut
With regards to kinds of trees, the top ten forest trees, with percentages, based on a minimum stem diameter of 1 inch at breast height, are:
- Red Maple – 27%
- Black Birch – 10%
- Eastern Hemlock – 6%
- Sugar Maple – 6%
- Northern Red Oak – 6%
- Beech – 5%
- Eastern White Pine – 4%
- Black Cherry – 3%
- Yellow Birch – 3%
- Pignut Hickory – 3%
Altogether, this covers about 73% of the native forest trees in Connecticut.