If a portion of your home or outdoor space gets fried by the sun, these shade-creating trees may be a welcome addition to your yard. Many of them grow medium to large, often very quickly, and provide a nice umbrella of cool shade. Believe it or not, trees can even cut down on your home’s energy usage and save on bills.
Liriodendron tulipifera, commonly known as Tuliptree is a stately tree for large spaces. Flowers May through early June with attractive green-yellow blossoms that have a tangerine tint at the base of the petals. Attractive yellow fall color. Prefers moist, well-drained and slightly acidic soil. 70-90’T by 50’W – so plan for size. Full sun. We have beautiful Emerald City Tulip Trees in the nursery. Big leaves that sway in the breeze nicely, and unusual tulip-style flowers in June. Looks fantastic when planted in rows. Very cold hardy. A great specimen plant.
Dogwood trees are widely known for their delicate beauty, and the Kousa variety adds a toughness that makes this species an excellent choice for home landscapes and urban areas. The tree also makes a visual contribution year-round. In spring, it produces a heavenly array of star-like blooms. In summer, its intriguing canopy of layered branches provides shade and beauty. In autumn, it offers spectacular bright red color. Even in winter, this tree has an appeal all its own with bark that resembles a jigsaw puzzle.The spring blooms are probably the tree’s largest selling point — and its most misunderstood. The white “petals” aren’t actually petals at all. They are modified leaves called bracts that surround the small, greenish-yellow, insignificant flowers. Dogwoods have shallow roots, so are nice options for planting near homes, as the roots will not cause any foundation damage. You may also like the ‘Summer Stars’ ever-blooming Dogwood we have in stock now.
Maples love New England’s cold, wet weather and acidic soil. Large, easy-care, deciduous natives, they produce lush, green leaves in summer, and provide excellent shade when needed. Maples are hard to beat when it comes to fall foliage, and put on a magnificent show – one that tourists pay good money to come and see. They are generally drought tolerant once established but prefer consistent moisture, and their wide-spreading roots support a slow-growing tree that can reach 40-70 feet tall – so do not plant one near a foundation. The Sugar Maple’s sap and seeds are prized by birds, so they are a great way to attract birds and other wildlife to your yard for refuge. Extremely long lived. And you can even use the Sugar Maple for delicious maple syrup!
One of the most attractive New England native trees you can find is Nyssa sylvatica, also known as Blackgum, Black Tupelo, Sourgum, Pepperidge, or Tupelo Gum. A sprawling, deciduous stunner, reaching 30-60 ft. or taller, with branches that reach straight out horizontally from the trunk. Leaves are noticeably shiny, and grow upward from the branch – a distinctive style. They turn bright red, orange, and yellow in fall. Bark matures to medium gray and resembles alligator hide. They love full to part-sun, and most soil types. They do not tolerate air pollution, so you will rarely find them in urban environments. Excellent as a specimen tree, for creating shade, and outstanding for serving native wildlife. Tupelo’s flowers produce a high amount of “honey” and attract scores of bees and other pollinators. Black gum fruits are highly nutritious and sought after by a wide range of animals, including turkeys, robins, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, brown thrashers, thrushes, flickers, wood ducks, squirrels, chipmunk, raccoons, and many others. It is sometimes cited as being an important food source for songbirds preparing for the fall migration.
Hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, is a small hardwood tree, and can grow to be 30′ tall (or happily pruned to make a perfect border) and looks beautiful in any season. Hardy from zones 3 to 9. This deciduous hardwood shade tree grows natively in eastern North America, and prefers moist, acidic soil and produces dark green summer leaves that turn a variegated orange in the fall. Come winter, its blue-gray bark creates a beautiful contrast to the snow in northern climates. The hornbeam is a great tree to add to any backyard landscape since it’s medium in size and is resistant to pests and diseases.
Swamp White Oak is a striking tree with attractive peeling bark, especially on young trees. The lustrous, lobed leaves have a two-tone appearance, dark green on top with a silvery-white underside. Fall color is an orange-gold to yellow in mid-autumn. An excellent shade tree for any landscape. Mature height is 50-60′.
Oakleaf Mountain Ash has an upright, oval branching habit that becomes more dense and rounded with age. White flower clusters appearing in spring followed by showy reddish-orange berry like clusters. Foliage is dark green on upper surface with a white pubescence on undersides. Very cold hardy. This deciduous tree will tolerate poor soil. Good in shade. 10-20’T. A very nice ornamental tree.
Ginkgo biloba are large trees, normally reaching a height of 66–115′ tall! The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deeply rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. The crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow. A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes Ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old. Ginkgo is relatively shade-intolerant and grows best in environments that are well-watered and well-drained.
Winter King Hawthorn
Winter King Hawthorn is the new “in vogue” accent tree, and with good reason. Winter King has clusters of white flowers in mid spring. The glossy, pointy leaves turn yellow in the fall. The fruits are showy red berries carried in abundance from early fall right through to late winter. The peeling silver bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape, and the simply amazing criss-crossing branching habit really adds interest. There is certainly a reason why this tree is referred to as the “Winter King”, and this tree will truly add year round beauty to your home. It is also a North American native, and very cold hardy. 20′ tall and 25′ wide. This tree should be kept at least 10′ away from buildings.
Maackia amurensis grows in a nice, upright vase shape. The most vigorous Maackia we have seen, with upright branching that forms a beautiful, symmetrical vase shape. Spike-like racemes of white flowers decorate the tree in early summer. The green foliage shows silvery pubescence in spring. Zone: 3 Height: 30’ Spread: 22’
The iconic southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is the most well-known. Zones: 4-9, with sizes ranging from 15-foot shrubs to massive trees that can reach heights of 80 feet or more. On deciduous varieties, the flowers open in early spring before the leaves appear. They emerge from large pussy-willow-like buds that set during the previous growing season and remain throughout fall and winter. Evergreen types bloom heaviest during the transition from spring to summer. But, don’t be surprised if your magnolia tree re-blooms in the summer or early fall. It’s not uncommon for sporadic blooms to appear on new growth.