What Are the Best Trees to Provide Shade?

Good trees provide a lot more than just beautifying your backyard. They provide clean air and are the game changers in your landscape. When picking the perfect shade tree for your backyard, it’s important to make an informed decision but don’t compromise quality.


As you may be aware, not all trees are the same, and some will dwindle over time, even after a good start. Others will offer real value for your money and ensure you get what you deserve for the right price. Yet some may turn out completely undesirable over time. After asking Waterloo Tree Service Pros, we have your answers.

Trees that Provide Shade

With these in mind, how do you choose the right shade tree for your yard? That seems to be the biggest question.

In this post, we’ll break down the details of the 10 most popular shade trees readily available in the market. Find out which tree suits your climate zone and budget in the next section.

1. Red Oak


Red oak has been the people’s darling over the years, and it’s all for a good reason. Your home will attract plenty of wildlife who are fond of its appealing seedlings with this fast-growing shade tree in your yard.

Cold summers and beautiful falls are everybody’s wish. And there’s no better way to get it than planting a live fence using red oaks. Be sure to enjoy the thick, flourishing, and beautiful canopy they provide all year.

2. American Sycamores


Yes! American sycamores have been here for as long as we can remember.

So, how about going for an already growing tree to save you from the hassles of growing a seed? American sycamores have a maximum height of 70 feet in maturity and are known for the wonderful leaf piles they create.

Perhaps their biggest disadvantage is the height, which won’t be ideal if your neighborhood has electrical lines. But with sufficient spacing, the stunning leaf piles of American sycamores might be all you need for that stunning backyard during winter.

3. Weeping Willows


Weeping willows are no strangers in the market, and they flourish near water. These trees can thrive in partial sunlight to a height of 35 feet when they reach maturity. With a tree like this though, you’re going to need to do a lot of tree trimming.

The weeping willow boasts wonderfully spread leaflets that offer massive protection from sunlight. However, on the downside, they require regular maintenance because their branches break easily. Also, structural pruning is essential to prevent their branches from tangling.

4. Hybrid Poplars


Unlike most other shade trees, hybrid poplars are fast-growing plants that deliver exceptional results within a short period. Their estimated growth rate is about 8 feet every year, and they’ll hit approximately 40-50 feet upon reaching maturity. Their messy nature is well-documented by their seeds, which may litter your backyard and become a real nuisance.

5. River Birch


The river birch tree would be a perfect addition to any backyard. These trees thrive in woodland gardens where they are planted with other plants. Their maturity height is approximately 40-70 feet and can spread up to 30-60 feet.

While they are one of the fastest-growing shade trees available, caution should be taken when planting these trees near an electric line or your house. River birch requires well-drained soil for survival and is susceptible to pests. When this happens, expert advice or fungicidal spray can help.

6. Tulip Poplars


Tulip poplars offer more than just shade. They provide unmatched scenery with their astounding leaf shape and incredible flowering. Tulip poplars boast a massive towering authority, and they are good for shade, beauty, and privacy.

Unlike most other trees, tulip poplars flourish in maximum sunlight where they can easily and freely spread out. If you choose these trees for your shade, keep an eye on the yellowing of the leaves in hot summer, which could indicate dehydration and weakness.

7. Bald Cypress


The bald cypress is just amazing and gives the sparkling appearance of swamps. These trees are well-tailored to suit different conditions. Even so, they easily flourish in wet conditions, which makes them ideal for low lying areas in your backyard. Wildlife has a natural affection for its gorgeous branches and cones.

8. Honey Locust


The honest locust is a strong tree that easily adapts to different environments and climate conditions. They can hit a maximum height of 30-50 feet when mature and are home to birds and wildlife. What’s more, they are a great shade tree option because they readily shed their leaves during the fall.

9. Red Maples


Yes! You guessed it right. Red maples offer excellent red shades in the summer. They have a growth rate of 3-5 feet and can reach 40 feet when mature. If you want privacy and shade, red maples are a great option.

10. Southern Live Oak


The adaptability of southern live oak to any condition makes them an excellent shade tree selection. Oak trees are one of the best shade providers in the forest, and southern live oak is no exception.

Their flexibility is just one of their many benefits because the southern live oaks can also withstand pollution and have excellent windbreaking abilities. This tree makes for a perfect planting if you have the resources and space to accommodate its height and immense spread.

The Bottom Line

Trees cool our streets, clean the air, provide oxygen, and combat climate change. A shady landscape is welcoming, and it only takes a quick Google search to create the perfect ground cover using trees. Opting for shade trees will give you a cool backyard to save you energy and money.

As you may already know, shade trees come in different shapes and sizes to ensure what you choose is good for your backyard. Not every tree on our list will be suitable for your yard, but they should help you make the right decision when you want to plant a shade tree.

So, keep the sun off your home by planting a shade tree of your choice to give your property a whole new look and the serene atmosphere you’ve been craving for.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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