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A shade tree is a large tree whose primary role is to provide shade in the surrounding environment due to its spreading canopy and crown, where it may give shelter from sunlight in the heat of the summer.
Availability is everchanging, so we may or may not have specific plants in stock that are shown here.
Fast-growing trees, growing as much as 6 feet per year. They are known for their columnar form and unusual branching structure—the branches start close to the ground and grow upward, parallel to the trunk. The foliage turns yellow in the fall. As the tree ages, the bark blackens and develops furrows. Lombardy poplar trees are usually planted in the spring or fall.
You can expect a lot of maintenance with this tree, nurseries often sell only the male trees so you won't have cottony seeds blowing around. However, the problem with male trees is that they produce abundant pollen, which can be allergenic.
As this tree has shallow, spreading roots, you should plant it away from pipes, septic tanks, lawns, gardens, sidewalks, streets, and foundations.
Lombardy poplars are short-lived, often succumbing within 15 years to a number of pests and diseases. For that reason they are best planted as a temporary solution in combination with a row of longer-lived screening plants such as Colorado blue spruce trees or arborvitae trees.
Chinese pistache is not a fussy tree. It can be grown in USDA zones 6-9 in a variety of soils as long as the soil is well draining. It is a sturdy tree with deep roots that make it an ideal specimen for near patios and sidewalks. It is heat and drought tolerant and winter hardy to 20 degrees F. (-6 C.) as well as relatively pest and fire resistant. Use Chinese pistache anywhere you would like to add a shade addition to the landscape with the bonus of an opulent fall appearance.
The Chinese pistache is a sun lover and should be situated in an area of at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. As mentioned, Chinese pistache isn’t picky about the soil it’s grown in as long as it drains well. Choose a site of not only plenty of sun, but with fertile soil deep enough to accommodate the long taproots and at least 15 feet (4.5 m.) away from nearby structures to account for their growing canopies.
Oregon White Oak is easily identified by its leaves with rounded lobes. It produces a typical acorn. The bark is light gray with thick furrows and ridges. Oregon White Oak is an attractive addition to parks and spacious yards. Its rounded crown and intricate branching pattern adds interest to the winter landscape.
Oaks are the most important genus of trees for wildlife in the United States. The nutritious acorns that they produce provide an important food source in winter when other foods are scarce. Deer, bear, raccoons and many small mammals eat the acorns. Oregon White Oak provides cover and shade for many species of wildlife.
The Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Little Volunteer,’ also called the “Tulip Tree,” requires a planting location to accommodate its size. Unlike other varieties of tulip trees, the Little Volunteer grows to a height of only around 30 feet with a canopy width of 15 feet, its compact size makes it suitable for even small gardens. The Little Volunteer grows well in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 4 to 9.
Choose a planting location in full sunlight for best growth results, it will not perform well shaded areas. The Little Volunteer will tolerate partial shade but its growth might be slowed. The tree withstands a wide variety of soil pH levels which allows it to be a street tree or a decorative residential tree. It grows in clay, sandy soil, and loam. The planting location should have well-draining soil because the Little Volunteer does tolerate continuously water saturated roots.
Once established, the tree can withstand periods of drought, but for the first year the tree should have moist soil conditions to develop a strong root system. Use bark mulch to conserve moisture and protect the shallow root system.
These trees grow well under a variety of conditions, provide spectacular autumn color and bright red, showy fruit. As a hardy, all-purpose tree, it is hard to go wrong with this variety.
Its most distinguishing characteristic, its scarlet red autumn foliage, begins in early October, as the name suggests. The spectacular scarlet coloration persists for weeks, often after many neighboring species have already shed their leaves. Accompanying the striking foliage are clusters of shiny, bright red fruit that attract numerous bird species to your yard.
In winter, the softly-hued gray bark provides a welcome relief from the drab monotony of darker trees, and in springtime the October glory bursts with color as it blooms with countless tiny but vivid red flowers. During the summer, the lush, dark-green leaves provide a hint of the brilliance to come. Rapid growth, reliability, and enduring fall color make it a perfect specimen tree.
Noted for its spectacular fall color, Acer platanoides (Norway Maple) is a large, deciduous tree with a slender trunk and a dense, rounded crown. It's foliage of sharply pointed five-lobed leaves, ranges from medium to dark green in summer, and changes to a brilliant pallette of yellows, oranges and browns in the fall.
In spring, scented yellow flowers, borne into showy clusters appear before the leaves and are followed by two-winged samara.
Long-lived (60 to 200 years) and fast-growing, Norway Maple also provides some winter interest, with its attractive, grayish bark, regularly and shallowly grooved. Excellent shade tree.
Grows up to 40-50 ft. tall (12-15 m) and 30-50 ft. wide (9-15 m). A full sun or part shade lover, the Norway Maple is easily grown in average, moist, well-drained soils. Tolerant to heat, drought and of a wide range of soils.
This tree needs little pruning. Roots are often shallow and reach the surface at an early age. They can heave sidewalks: plant the tree at least 4-6 ft. away (120-180 cm). Plant in an area where grass below it will not need to be mowed.
Noted for its spectacular fall color, Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) is a large, deciduous tree with a straight trunk, wide-spreading branches, and a dense, oval to rounded crown.
Its foliage of five-lobed leaves, ranges from medium to dark green in summer, and changes to a brilliant palette of yellows, oranges, and reds in the fall. In spring, greenish-yellow flowers, borne in short, upright sprays appear before the leaves and are followed by two-winged samara.
Long-lived and slow-growing, Sugar Maple also provides some winter interest, with its attractive, gray-brown bark, often ridged and furrowed with age. Excellent shade tree or specimen tree.
Grows up to 40-80 ft. tall (12-24 m) and 30-60 ft. wide (9-18 m). A full sun or part shade lover, this tree is easily grown in fertile, moist, acid, well-drained soils. Tolerant of full shade. Sugar Maple grows on sands, loamy sands, sandy loams, loams and silt loams, but it does best on well-drained loams. It does not grow well on dry, shallow soils and is rarely if ever, found in swamps. Sugar Maple is susceptible to salt, excessive heat, and leaf scorch in drought. Sugar Maple needs little pruning. Roots are often shallow and reach the surface at an early age. Plant in an area where grass below it will not need to be mowed.
The London planetree is most often used in urban landscapes where a very large tree is desired to provide shade and an attractive accent. It has excellent tolerance for air pollution and is a common choice in large city parks and other public lands. It also works well for medians and planting strips because the roots can handle small spaces with soil compaction. Once established, the tree grows quickly and can live up to 400 years.
The tree readily grows in spots that have moist soil and plenty of sunlight. But its roots can damage buildings, sidewalks, and driveways, so choose your planting location wisely. This large tree should be planted at least 30 feet away from homes or other structures, and not too close to sidewalks, walls, or fences. Moreover, its massive size and messy growth habit from fallen leaves, twigs, bark, and fruit make the London plane unsuitable for all but the largest residential landscapes.
Full sun is ideal for the London planetree, but it will tolerate partial shade. It requires a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight every day, but six hours or more is better.
Although it can adapt to most growing conditions, the London planetree does best in rich, deep, well-draining soil.
The hybridization of the London planetree is thought to have occurred accidentally sometime during the 17th century in either Spain or London when the American sycamore and Oriental planetree were planted close to one another. Since then, several cultivars have been developed.
'Bloodgood' is one of the more popular varieties, growing around 60 feet tall and tolerating undesirable environmental conditions, including drought and poor soil. Bloodgood planetree, a selection of the tough London planetree that is widely planted in urban areas, is a large shade tree with a broad open crown and bark that exfoliates to reveal patches that may be creamy white, yellow, or olive-colored. The signature ornamental feature of this huge tree is its brown bark, which exfoliates in irregular pieces to reveal creamy white inner bark. 'Bloodgood' has dark green foliage and is reported to have some resistance to the problematic anthracnose disease of sycamores.
Lombardy Poplar Tree
(Populus nigra ‘Italica’)
Chinese Pistache Tree
Oregon White Oak
Tulip Poplar Tree
October Glory Red Maple
Sugar Maple 'Commemoration'
(Platanus x acerifolia 'bloodgood')