State and National Trees

Photograph of Red Pine

Minnesota's State Tree, the Red Pine

The red, or Norway, pine (Pinus resinosa) was designated the Minnesota state tree in 1953. The state's current red pine Big Tree champion, in the Lost 40 SNA located in the Big Fork State Forest, is 120 feet tall with a circumference of 115 inches. It is believed that the red pine received its common name, Norway pine, from English settlers who thought it resembled the Norwegian scotch pine. Others speculate that the tree took its name from the town of Norway, Maine, another locale where early settlers observed red pine. The species is extensively planted for its ability to tolerate poor soils, exposed sites, cold, and wind.

Photograph of Bur Oak

America's National Tree, the Oak

In 2004 the U.S. Congress designated the oak as our national tree. The largest oak on record in Minnesota is a bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) that is privately owned in Rochester. It is recorded in Minnesota's Native Big Tree Registry as being 60 feet tall and 275 inches in circumference. The largest oak on record for the United States is a live oak (Quercus virginiana) that is 77 feet tall and 420 inches in circumference with a crown spread of 155 feet.