Perhaps you took a walk through the park or forest in Poland and wondered what these trees were. The reality in Poland is that conifers (like pine and spruce) outnumber deciduous trees by a large margin. Data from the Central Statistical Office confirms that, as you will see below. In deciduous forests, oak and birch are the most commonly found species.
Types of Trees in Poland
- Pine – 58.5%
- Birch – 7.5%
- Oak – 7.5%
- Spruce – 6.4%
- Beech – 5.8%
- Alder – 5.4%
- Other deciduous trees – 4.7%
- Other coniferous trees – 4.2%
Some of the most popular tree species found in Poland and their characteristics are listed below. I have to tell you that our national parks often have particularly impressive examples of these trees. Here is the list of what we have:
- Oak: Known for its thick trunk
- Pine: The most common tree in Poland
- Spruce: Characterized by its slender, simple structure
- Beech: Considered one of the most beautiful deciduous trees
- Birch: A tree that is often the first to grow in new areas
- Fir: A hardy conifer with gray bark
- Larch: A tree that loses its needles seasonally
- Yew: A long-lived conifer with a distinct shape
- Lime: A deciduous tree with unique properties
- Willow: Known for its medicinal properties in Poland
- Alder: Thrives in moist environments
- Maple: A tree known for its wide crown
- Hornbeam: A tree that commonly grows in mixed forests
- Chestnut: A tree with a sturdy trunk and attractive appearance
- Poplar: A tree known for its bushy growth and humming sound
- Ash: A tall tree with a cylindrical top
- Platanus: A deciduous tree with peeling bark
- Rowan: A tree that produces small fruits with a red color
- Sycamore: The largest species of maple tree
- Hazel: A tall deciduous shrub
Oak – The Thickest Tree in Poland
Oaks are truly impressive and magnificent trees that are impossible to ignore. They are particularly notable for their thick trunks, which can exceed 3 meters in diameter. They are incredibly sturdy and strong. The are able to survive even the toughest conditions, and it is true as sometimes in Poland we have tornadoes.
The reason for that is becuase oaks have a very strong root system. They are also considered to be long-lived trees, with the pedunculate variety able to survive for up to 1,000 years. The Bartek Oak, a natural monument in Poland, is a prime example of this. The tree’s fruits serve as a food source for many animals like squirrels, wild boars, and deer. In many cultures, the oak is seen as a symbol of strength due to its character and majesty.
↳ PRO TIP: Do you like traveling? Then before you buy any ticket or book an attraction, check if it's available in this worldwide Viator Database. You may save a lot of money and time. No need to thank me :)
Pine – The Most Common Tree in Poland
In Poland, there are three main species of pine: the common, the Scots pine and the vejmutka. These trees make up around 70% of the total forest area and can be found in nearly any condition. They just have no specific needs. They don’t require fertile soil to survive and are often found near swamps.
Pine is a one-trunk tree, with bark that resembles dark red scales. Its cones are egg-shaped. The needles can range from 3 to 8 cm in length and about 2mm in diameter. The tallest ones can reach up to 35 meters.
Spruce – Slender and Simple Structure
Spruce trees, while not as prevalent in Polish forests as pine, are still quite popular. They are known for their slender and simple structure. They have dark green bark and needles that are evenly distributed on branches. They also have a sharp, prickly tip and range in length from 1-2.5 cm, not being very thick at the same time.
Spruces are single-flowered trees. They have both female and male flowers. The female flowers are the cones we’re familiar with, while the male flowers are called catkins. It’s worth noting that spruces are quite sensitive to strong winds and environmental conditions. I makes them prone to breaking.
Beech – One of the Most Beautiful Deciduous Trees
The beech tree is considered one of the most beautiful deciduous trees in Poland. Visiting forests during autumn is particularly worth it, as this is when the leaves take on a variety of colors. In spring, they are a vibrant green and are shaped like eggs. The tree has fruits called in Polish,”bukwia”. They are edible nuts that are loved by many wild animals. Beech trees can live for up to 300 years and thrive in moderate moisture and fertile soil. They don’t do well in sunny places.
Birch – A Pioneer Species
Birch trees are flowering deciduous trees and are considered a pioneer species, often being the first to appear in non-forested areas. They also have intense and rapid growth, with a maximum height of 25 meters. Birches can live for 120 years or more, depending on the conditions. Some species produce germicidal substances, that are beneficial for the environment. They have fruits, which are small nuts with a distinct shape. Birch wood has a high energy value, making it a popular choice for firewood, along with oak and beech.
Fir – A Strong Conifer With Gray Bark
Fir is a coniferous tree that doesn’t shed its needles in the winter. It has a distinct gray-colored bark and a strong, sturdy trunk that is quite resistant to damage. Firs can grow up to 50 meters tall. They have flexible and elastic needles that are cylindrical in shape. Female flowers are small cones that grow vertically, starting out red or purple before turning light green. These trees can live for up to 500 years. It’s wood is used to build houses, furniture, or musical instruments. What is the difference between spruce and fir? Well, as you can see on the picture, fir has two white lines (stripes) on the bottom of needles. There is also a difference in a way the cones grow. Fir has them growing to the upper side (we can say, they stand).
Larch – A Tree With Seasonal Needles
The larch is a distinct coniferous tree that sheds its needles in the winter. They thrive in sunny places and are highly tolerant of environmental conditions, including low temperatures and pollution. Larches grow up to 50 meters tall and have an annual grwth rate of about 150 cm, which makes them a popular choice for planting in private gardens in Poland.
Yew – A Long-Lived Coniferous Tree
The Yew tree is a coniferous tree that is known in Poland for its longevity and poisonous nature. Imagine that it can live for up to 3,000 years! It has an initially conical crown that becomes irregular with age, it also has needles that are arranged in a comb-like pattern. It’s considered a two-stemmed tree. Its flowers appear in early spring, with female flowers being green and male flowers yellow. The fruit is in the form of small balls that resemble berries. Yews prefer fertile soils and optimal moisture levels but are not tolerant of frost or drought.
Lime – A Deciduous Tree With Unique Properties
The Lime tree, also known as the Linden, is a deciduous tree featuring unique properties. In Poland, there are two varieties: small-leaved and broad-leaved linden. Both of them are similar, with the main difference being the size of the leaves. The bark and leaves of the tree are often used in alternative medicine because they have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The tree can grow up to 30 meters tall, has a slender shape, a gray and cracked bark and hermaphroditic flowers. It is an insect-pollinated species. The wood is soft and easy to work with. That makes it a popular choice for sculpting in Poland. Lime trees are also loved by bees, this is why we have the popular lime honey in Poland.
Willow – Medicinal Tree in Poland
Willow is another deciduous species. It is commonly used for medicinal purposes. It has a large, wide crown with many thin branches. Willows can be found along highways and river banks and they grow up to 30 meters tall. They have elongated leaves that can grow up to 10 cm long. Willows are known for being a source of salicin. This is a compound with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, that is secreted by the bark. The wood is easy to work with and is used in various industries.
Alder – A Moisture-loving Tree
Alder is a deciduous tree that thrives in moist environments, it can be often found in river valleys or swamps. Actually, you can find it all over Europe. It has dark-colored bark, and used to be used for dyeing clothes. The leaves are ball-shaped, they are relatively small, dark green in color and have yellow hairs on the underside. Alder has both male and female flowers that eventually develop into cones, that are about 2 cm in long. There are two types of alder: black alder and gray alder, with the latter having a lighter bark.
Maple – A Spreading Tree With a Large Crown
The Maple is a large and spreading deciduous tree that has a characteristic crown that can take a shape of an umbrella. It can grow up to 30 meters tall, has leaves with five distinct lobes, as well as thick petioles filled with milky sap. It can live for about 150 years. Maple has fruit in the shape of small nuts. It’s wood is durable, which is why it is used in many different industries. The Maple is ovadoprilous, so it prefers dry and calcareous soils.
Hornbeam – A Mixed-Forest Hazel Tree
The Hornbeam is a deciduous tree that is part of the hazel group. You can usually find it in mixed forests. At first glance, it may resemble a birch tree, but it is a distinct species with some properties that set it apart. If you have a chance to see it, you will notice its leaves are small and have an accordion-like surface. It is a single-flowered tree. The fruits of the hornbeam are tiny nuts. It can be easily trimmed without fear of a damage, that is why it makes it a popular choice for home gardens in Poland.
Chestnut Tree – A Beautiful Tree With a Solid Trunk
The Chestnut tree is a popular deciduous tree that can be found in forests and parks. It produces chestnuts, which are small seeds in a spiky shell and blooms in May, but the nuts do not fall from the tree until September. It is a strong and powerful species, with a trunk thickness of up to 2 meters and a maximum height of 25 meters. It also requires a lot of space due to its spreading shape. Chestnut trees are not native to Poland and are an introduced species, but people often use the name chestnut for other species of trees.
Poplar – A Bushy and Humming Tree
Poplar is a deciduous tree with a bushy crown and lots of branches. There are two types of poplar, white poplar and aspen. This tree prefers moist areas and can often be found near rivers. They can grow up to a height of about 40 meters. White poplar trunks have medicinal properties, and the aspen poplar has serrated leaves that are distinct from other ones in the forest. It is a known pioneer species, which means it often appears in non-forested areas.
Ash Tree – A Showy Tree with a Round Top
Ash is a strong and showy deciduous tree, It has specific branches that grow at an acute angle, and a slender, subtle trunk. Its bark is dark gray matte. Each leaf consists of 7-11 smaller leaves. It is often planted in parks, it can live for up to 250 years, and has female, male and hermaphrodite flowers. The maximum height is about 40 meters, and the buds are usually covered with scales to protect them from the elements. The Ash tree is wind-pollinated.
Platanus – A Deciduous Tree With Scaly Bark
Platanus comes in different varieties such as eastern, western, and maple-leaf. It is known for its grayish-gray bark that peels off over time. The tree has a spreading crown and an wide top. It can reach a height of 35 meters.The tree blooms during the month of May. Platanus do not tolerate excess moisture or low temperatures. Actually, frosts can be very harmful to young trees. They are often planted in private properties and parks because they are relatively easy to take care of.
Rowan – Ball-shaped Fruits in Red Color
The Rowan is a deciduous tree that can be recognized in Poland by is well known red-colored fruits, which look like small balls. It blooms in May and June. It is also resistant to low temperatures and negative weather conditions. Though the fruits of the Rowan tree contain valuable nutrients, they should not be consumed raw as they can cause vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms. Extracts from the fruits are commonly used in syrups to boost immunity.
Sycamore – The Largest Variety of Maple Tree
The sycamore is a deciduous tree that is well in Poland known for its large and showy leaves. They are shaped like a hand with fingers spread. The largest variety of maple can be often found in mountain forests. The tree is known for its long lifespan, with an average of 250-300 years, but many of them can live even longer. It produces high quality wood, that is commonly fot furniture and musical instruments productoin. The sycamore tree can reach heights of 35 meters and has distinctively cracked bark.
Hazel – A Tall Deciduous Shrub
Hazel is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 5 meters in height. It has a dense, upright crown made up of many thin branches. It blooms in February and March. It is important to note that it produces small nuts called hazelnuts. You can pick them up in September. This shrub prefers fertile and limestone soils, but it is difficult to grow. Hazel can tolerate pruning, but it can be sensitive to diseases and pests. Hazelnuts are not only delicious, but also healthy.