Trees Found In Bryan Park

We are fortunate to have an abundance of many naturally occurring trees in Bryan Park. Most of our trees are “native”, including numerous large oaks, loblolly pines, hickories, tulip poplars, sycamores, beeches, and American holly, with an understory of dogwood, black cherry and other native shrubs. Near the edges of our streams and creeks you will find river birch, elderberry, box elders and bald cypress.

Why Native Trees

Native trees are very important to Bryan Park for several reasons. Native trees typically grow from seed in the region from which they have evolved. While non-native trees and plants might provide some benefits, such as shape, flower, fruit or shade, native trees have many additional advantages. Because native plants are adapted to local soils and climate conditions, they generally require less watering and fertilizing than non-natives. Natives are often more resistant to insects and disease as well, and so are less likely to need pesticides.

Wildlife evolved with trees, thereby using native tree communities for food, cover, and rearing young. Using native trees also helps preserve the balance and beauty of natural ecosystems.


Like all living things, trees regularly die for a variety of reasons, including disease, old age, competition from other wildlife and invasive plants, windstorms, lightning, and climate change (heat and drought). Because of the importance placed on having a healthy city park, the Richmond Department of Recreation and Parks and the Friends of Bryan Park have instituted an annual program to plant sufficient numbers of trees so that our 279 acres of land will continue to provide attractive and clean outdoor sites where needed.

During the years 2012 through 2020 the Richmond City Department of Forestry set aside funds for the annual replanting of trees throughout Bryan Park for which you can see many 12 to 30 foot-tall trees which provide evidence to the vision and foresight needed to plan ahead so that young trees replace older trees.

Beginning in 2021, city funds became depleted. The Friends of Bryan Park began purchasing and growing seedlings provided by Virginia Department of Forestry and other nurseries. These seedlings were then planted throughout the park, and in the nursery next to the greenhouse.

Our vision is to annually plant 40-50 infant trees in the sections of the park that are regularly mowed, and to monitor and maintain them until they can thrive independently. Anyone interested in helping to plant and maintain trees in Bryan Park should go to the Volunteer page on this site, complete and submit the form.