Tree Species of Riverdale Park Bronx

Riverdale Park Preserve is a hidden gem in the Bronx, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance. This park is a testament to the intricate connection between nature and history, evident in its diverse ecosystems and the stories they tell.

Trees of Riverdale Park Bronx

Riverdale’s forests are a living testament to the passage of time. The mature oak-hickory forests, dominated by majestic red oaks, gradually evolve into a “climax” forest. This means the conditions are perfect for young, shade-tolerant trees to thrive under the canopy of their towering parents. These forests also feature black, chestnut, white, and the water-favoring pin oak, each contributing to the park’s rich biodiversity. The park also boasts the billion-year-old Fordham gneiss, which is the oldest rock formation in New York City, adding a geological layer to its historical richness.

Credit: NY1 Spuyten Duyvil Creek & Hudson River

Common Trees Found in Riverdale Park, Bronx


  • Red Oak
  • Black Oak
  • Chestnut Oak
  • White Oak
  • Pin Oak


Black Birch

Tulip Tree

Black Cherry

Witch Hazel

European Beech

Black Locust



Ailanthus (invasive)

In the southern part of the park, a different type of forest thrives, reminiscent of pre-colonial times. Here, towering tulip trees reach 110 feet, intermingling with red oaks, black birch, black cherry, and hickory. The ravine’s slopes are adorned with a grove of witch hazel, while the shaded paths come alive in spring with wildflowers like jack-in-the-pulpit, bloodroot, and blue-violet.

A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

With 27 confirmed breeding bird species, including the elusive screech owl, Riverdale is a haven for avian enthusiasts. The park’s diverse habitats, from the dense forest to the Alderbrook wetland, provide ideal nesting and feeding grounds for many birds.

Restoration and Conservation

The park’s commitment to conservation is evident in projects like the Alderbrook wetland restoration. By removing invasive species and re-establishing native plants, the park has created a thriving habitat for yellow warblers and common yellowthroats. This focus on restoring native ecosystems highlights the importance of preserving the natural heritage of our city.

The Raoul Wallenberg Forest: A Living Tribute

Adjacent to Riverdale Park, the Raoul Wallenberg Forest memorializes a heroic figure. Its towering trees, some with trunks over 30 inches in diameter, provide a tranquil space for reflection and remembrance. You’ll find white oaks, European beech, and a rich undergrowth of blackberries, wineberries, grapes, roses, black locusts, and sumac trees here. The forest is also a haven for birds, including downy woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, and white-throated sparrows.

Exploring Riverdale Park

Riverdale Park Preserve offers a variety of trails to explore, each with its unique charm. Whether you’re interested in wildflowers, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the peace of nature, Riverdale has something to offer. Please remember that crossing the Metro-North tracks is strictly prohibited for safety reasons.

Your Connection to Nature

Riverdale Park Preserve provides a vital green space for Bronx residents to escape the urban environment and rejuvenate their spirits. We encourage you to visit this remarkable park and experience its natural beauty firsthand.

Tree Service in Riverdale

We at Owens Brothers Tree Service have been providing Riverdale with tree removal, trimming, pruning, and stump grinding services since 1959! If you’re a Riverdale resident with trees on your property that need tree care, consider giving us a call for a free on-site estimate. We love working with our Bronx neighbors!

Free Estimate (718) 885-0914