Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Looking For A Shade Tree For Backyard

Wauseon, OH(Zone 5a)

I am looking for a shade tree that I can put beside my patio that has light shade. I have coneflowers and knock-out roses along my patio so I don't think I want a deancy shade.

If someone could help me I would be very thankful.

I would like one that gets around 50 or 60 feet tall. But I would settle for one that would get 30 to 40 feet tall also.

I like song birds so a tree that would bring them would be nice.

I have clay soil.

I thought about the Yoshino Flowering Cherry Tree.

Wauseon, OH(Zone 5a)

I am also looking at a Sourwood Tree, does anyone have one and what do you like and dislike about it?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I'm pretty sure that a Yoshino Cherry is not going to fit your requirement to reach 50-60 feet - this is not a shade tree.

Sourwood is a nice plant, but it will take a century to reach the 50-60 foot range, if ever. It is likely only to grow that big in its native habitat. It pretty much requires acid soils, and I'd venture that it needs specific mycorrhizal associations (and maybe other symbiotic relationships with other plant communities) based on how many times gardeners have related repeated failures at attempts to grow

Wauseon, OH(Zone 5a)

Do you have any ideals of what type of tree to put there?

I really would like to hear from ALL of you on this.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

For reasons unknown to all but the e-Gods, the second half of my post was not registered. Admins?

I had suggested KY Coffee Tree and Thornless Common Honeylocust as potential shade trees with rather open crowns.

Temperanceville, VA(Zone 7a)

If you need it fast, perhaps a clump of birch. We planted a river birch clump out front to keep the summer sun off our door knob ( I know it sounds silly but my DMIL "burned" her hand while visiting. The shade is open and it grows quite fast.

Wauseon, OH(Zone 5a)

I put one of those in my backyard 2 years ago. A nice tree.

Thank-You still looking for that SPECIAL TREE. I know there are allot of you just thinking of that special tree so I would love to hear from you.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

My vote would also be for Gleditsia Triacanthos 'Inermis' (Thornless Honeylocust), little if any raking, no thorns and fewer seedpods than normal. - http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/g/gletri/gletri1.html At the bottom, those are all selections of 'Inermis', they can be bought at nurseries.
Crabapples get pretty tall and I think birds like a crabapple. I planted the old fashioned Crabapple at my Mom's in 2004 and it's already into the bottom of the lines. I told her just a week ago that "the utility company is going to butcher that tree for you since your letting it grow into the lines". On second thought, the old Crabapple isn't really a very good choice because you don't want the old ones, the fruits are too big and messy plus I think they're pretty vulnerable to Cedar Rust. The new Crabs I don't think get nearly as tall, but the fruits are alot smaller. I like the one at my Mom's because I grew it from a seed. Here it is, it was getting into the lines about that time.

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

What about Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) - pic below is young street tree. They get much more open as they age and are tough. Nyssa sylvatica (not sure about this one), I always like Halesia, maybe a cultivar Fraxinus. I always like Metasequoia and the cultivar 'Goldrush' might be interesting but the cleanup from fallen needles you might not.

Thumbnail by growin
Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I was also going to suggest katsura.
I think the weeping variety looks great.
sophora japonica another consideration.

You can count me among those who haven't been able to get a sourwood to grow, despite numerous attempts in all sorts of sitings. It's native range is not that far from here, but it might as well be the moon.

Warrenton, VA

The big consideration I had to deal with in choosing a tree for siting near my home was the root structure. It is VERY IMPORTANT to address this, as you don't want roots destroying your foundation! "Light Shade" means to me more of an ornamental tree, so Plums, Cherries, but they do not grow as tall as you need. I was intrigued by the "Zelcovia" (sp) but the rub is that, if you want FAST (like, in your lifetime), that usually means weak cell structure (i.e., easily splitting, brittle limbs) and invasive roots. Or, patience will give a noble, strong tree that you will most likely not see mature height.
I needed a medium tree so ended up with a Trident Maple. I grew up with maples, oaks, willows, and plums. I wish you the best of luck as there are so many beautiful trees just waiting to grow for you! Speaking of oaks, my husband transplanted a seedling last Fall, and it has grown already a full inch! That seems like a TON to me!

Madison, WI

If you want a tall (eventual) tree to shade your home, but not be heavy on the shade in the garden, Cottonwood trees...which come as separate male and female trees, are a beautiful shade tree with much the same upper spread as that of the old elms we all miss so much. They have leaves on long petiols (stems), so they flutter in the breeze, scattering light and sounding like rain-fall. The thing is you need to find a CLONED MALE cottonwood, to be sure you won't end up with a bothersome, seed-producing female tree. Other than the cloned male, there are a number of hybridized seedless varieties lout there; but none seem to have the same broad upper spread of the original, the Eastern Cottonwood. They are fast growing...inches in a summer...and like being in a moist place.

After looking and asking for about 3 years, I lucked out and found a place here in Wisconsin that has some of these cloned male Eastern Cottonwood trees. They are Moyers Landscaping Services, in Stoughton, Wisconsin; you can Google them. I don't know how you would get one to where you live of course, unless you brought a truck up here. But you could also try cloneing your own, yourself...being sure..at this seeding-time of year, that you got a stem from MALE tree, and not a female. The female flower and the male polinator are both "catkins", so they resemble each other; but the male doesn't produce any cotton-y fluff. And maybe by this time of year in Ohio, the seed pods would be forming on the female trees. To do my own cloning, I'd find one of each and compare them..and maybe some rooting compound would help, also.

I really like the Eastern Cottonwood, and would like to see the male continued in use. Most peoole think all cottonwoods are a nuisance,unaware of the two sexes of tree.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Cottonwood is a nice tree, I like the sound the leaves make when the wind blows myself. I'd think it would be way too large for the original poster though. It gets around 100 feet tall. - http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/p/popdel/popdel1.html

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