A Guide to Protected Tree Species in Charlotte, NC

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina takes its trees very seriously. So much so that it established a tree ordinance in 1978 to uphold its heritage of silviculture.

This ordinance is still relevant to today’s developers and city planners. There are many different tree species of note in Charlotte.

Pine and oak tree species make up the dominant group. That said, some of the oldest tree species are maple tree species. 

This guide gives you a brief overview of some of the common tree species notable to the Charlotte North Carolina area. 

Where to Find Protected Tree Species

Most of the protected tree species around the Charlotte area are located on University property. These are known to the locals as treasure trees due to their unique historic and cultural characteristics. 

The majority of Charlotte’s treasure trees can be found on the Duke and Queens University campuses, but others are scattered throughout the city as well. The following are a few specific examples of treasure tree species.

The Tulip Poplar

The Tulip Poplar is native to North Carolina and is one of the largest native perennial trees on the eastern seaboard. It can grow up to 190 feet tall with a trunk 10 feet in diameter. It is a beautiful flowering tree.

Eastern Red Cedar

The Eastern Red Cedar is a common and valued tree of note in the Charlotte area. While all of the Eastern Red Cedars are not protected, the one on the grounds of the Duke Mansion is.

This tree has the nickname of the “Graveyard Tree” as it grows so slowly that, if you planted one at the time of your birth, it might be big enough to shade your grave if you are lucky.

Magnolia Trees

Many different species of Magnolia trees dot Charlotte’s streets and parks. From the Sweetbay Magnolia to the Big Leaf Magnolia to the Southern Magnolia all have their charm.

If they are old and large enough, they also have their treasure tree designation. Magnolia trees, like many treasure trees, require a lot of routine care to keep them healthy and vibrant.

This requires the attention of a professional arborist. Keep this in mind if you have a treasure tree on your property or if you see an unhealthy one that could use some help while walking about town.

Gingko Tree

Yet another treasure tree located on University property, the Queens University Gingko is one of the largest in the land.

This tree sheds massive fan-shaped leaves in the fall and hails from a bygone era giving it the reputation as a living fossil.

With pine tree species such as Longleaf Pine and Pitch Pine dominating North Carolina’s forests, it is refreshing to see such a unique contender take root in the fine city of Charlotte. 

There Are Many More

These are only a few tree species names that have become protected under Charlotte’s treasure tree program.

That said, they highlight the diversity of Charlotte’s silviculture and provide you with beautiful subjects for a walking tour.

If you have a protected tree species on your property or you want to ensure your common trees remain healthy, you should contact us today for all of your tree maintenance needs. We can help keep all of your trees in good health.


Frady Tree Care has the most reliable and professional tree services in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons & High Point, NC areas! Our team is a third-generation certified and fully-insured arboriculture firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we are the tree service experts you can trust.


Charlotte Office

8640 Charlotte University City Blvd.  Suite A3-241        Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Lexington Office

402 W. 4th Avenue,    Lexington, NC 27292
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Salisbury Office

1460 Henderson Grove Church Rd,
Salisbury, NC 28147
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Winston-Salem Office

1035 Shalimar Drive.      Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Call Now Button