Shade trees can beautify your yard, improve air quality, water quality, and energy costs! A lot of these shade trees have seasonal benefits, such as flowers or beautiful fall foliage. Shade trees are a cheap and easy way of keeping your house cool during the summer; keeping the sun off your house will help save money and energy! Nothing is better than sitting under the wide canopy of a tree to beat the heat. If your landscape doesn’t have any trees, the thought of waiting a generation to experience a tree’s shade can be frustrating. Luckily, there are quite a few “fast” growing shade trees; fast growing can mean growing up to a couple of feet in a year. From parks to a beautiful backyard shade trees are useful in every setting! Make sure to choose a shade tree that is best suited to your zone and property, always consider native species as they will grow the best and be more adapted for anything mother nature has to throw at it.

Natural Shapes of Shade Trees

Columnar – Columnar trees are shaped like cylinders or columns, with branches that are uniform in length from top to bottom. They aren't necessarily narrow, but they look to be because of the branching. There are many common trees are available in columnar shape.


Open Headed Irregular –The branches of these trees are irregular and randomly patterned, creating an open, asymmetrical canopy. They are wonderful for shade during the summer, and after their leaves fall, their branches create a dramatic silhouette.


Weeping – Weeping trees have branches that droop downward and are covered with cascading foliage.  These types of trees are typically smaller and considered ornamental trees. The most widely known shade tree that has this habit is the weeping willow; but many well-known trees are available in a weeping form.


Pyramidal – These trees have a broad, cone-shaped canopy - wider at the bottom and gradually gets narrower toward the top. This is a classic shape that many deciduous trees and conifers have.


Globe – The canopies of these trees have a regular, rounded traditional shade tree shape that are perfect for formal landscapes. Rows along a driveway provide a strong linear feature; when they stand alone on a spacious lawn, they make gorgeous specimen trees.


Fastigiate –These trees have a narrow, elongated, tapering canopy that has a strong vertical habit drawing the eye upward. When they are planted in rows, they make beautiful hedges to define boundaries; these trees also serve well as a windbreak or as effective screens against noise or unwanted views.


Vase – Trees that have a vase-shaped canopy (resembling an upside-down triangle) work well for streets and walks simply because they don't block the view of pedestrians or traffic. Branches grow up and out at a sharp upward angle from the trunk.


Horizontal Spreading – These trees are very wide, with strong horizontal branches, even at the top of the canopy. They can overwhelm small properties and can make single-story homes look tiny in comparison.