Shade Trees

Photo of Shade Trees

Throughout the Zoo, you’ll find beautiful shade trees that provide relief from the hot sun. The bigger trees are not hard to find but you might also notice many oaks, maples, lindens, zelkoovas, elms, and other large species that were more recently planted and are still young. Although we monitor and care for older trees, and do our best to protect them from construction projects and other causes of stress, we know that a certain number of them will fail in future years. This is one of the reasons we plant so many new shade trees. They will carry on the important job of shading the Zoo’s guests and animals into the future. Perhaps the best place to enjoy taller shade trees is around Swan Lake. The bald cypresses (Taxodium distichum) line the pedestrian bridge. These deciduous conifers that can grow on land or in water hail from the American Southeast, but are well-adapted to Cincinnati’s winters. Ringing the opposite side of the lake are larger catalpas (Catalpa speciosa), which were planted in 1875 when the Zoo was created or are the offspring of those original trees. There is another beautiful bald cypress as you exit Cat Canyon and also another beauty as you approach the Education Building. Centroid is rich with a diversity of fine trees, as is Wolf Woods and Jungle Trails.