Posted in Gardening
May 10, 2018

20 Amazingly Colorful Trees for Shade and Joy in Summer !

Are there certain parts of your house that get incredibly hot during the day?

Do you find yourself needing a shady spot in your yard?

Well, I’m right there with you. The backside of my home gets so much sun that my living room could literally make you sweat. Which is what has led me to our topic of discussion.

So I am bringing you a list of some of the fastest growing shade trees that could potentially work for your area. Hopefully, this list will help bring some permanent relief to an extremely heated situation.

Fast Growing Shade Trees:

1. Hybrid Poplar

Growing up, I’d see a lot of these in subdivisions. They are quite beautiful to look at and provide lots of nice shade.

Plus, these trees really add a lot of color to your lawn. They start off a bright green during the warmer months, and then slowly transition to a golden color when autumn arrives.

2. American Red Maple


via The Tree Center

These trees are absolutely gorgeous. When you see one, you know because of how their beautiful colors stand out against any backdrop.

So if you’d like a shade tree that grows quickly, then you should consider this Red Maple. It has the most gorgeous red leaves that absolutely make this tree pop out. This tree is great for your garden.

3. Sawtooth Oak

This tree is used on the cover of a lot of children’s books. It looks like a very familiar tree which might make your home feel a little more welcoming to some.

But this tree has oblong shaped leaves which is why it is called a ‘sawtooth’ oak. If you want some shade and a little homey décor touch simultaneously, then you might want to use this tree for your shade.

4. Royal Empress


This is another tree that will absolutely take your breath it is so gorgeous. It has the height and the foliage needed by a shade tree. Awesome tree to plant in your garden for relax and enjoyable garden experience !

But this shade tree develops gorgeous purple leaves. It definitely looks royal, in my opinion, and it would add a lot of beauty to any yard.

5. Sycamore

Every time I hear the words sycamore tree I think of a song I sang as a child about Zacchaeus who climbed up in a sycamore tree.

But I digress, this tree looks to provide ample amount of shade. Also, from my research on the internet, it seems to be rather inexpensive to purchase one of these trees.

6. Pin Oak

These trees come in different color varieties. You can buy one version where it is your typical green tree, which a lot of people might prefer.

Then you can purchase varieties where the leaves can be purple or red. I love lots of color in my yard, but this could be a good shade variety regardless of preference.

7. Weeping Willow


via The Tree Center

I’m a huge fan of weeping willows. They provide lots of good shade, but they also provide a little country feel to any yard.

Actually, my mother in law had one in her yard, and it was a gorgeous tree. All of the grandkids loved playing under it because the branches and leaves made a great place to hide. I would not recommend this tree to be used as garden tree because it looks tired, depressing as its name suggest, it is beautiful but not for your garden !

8. Fan-Tex Ash

If you live in a colder climate, then this tree could be what you’ve been looking for. It is zoned for areas 7 through 11.

So as long as your temperatures stay above zero degrees Fahrenheit, then you are good to go. Plus, this tree grows to about 35-40 feet in height as well.

9. American Elm

This tree is another classic. The elm tree grows to be about 40 feet or greater in height. What is interesting about the elm tree is that it once was the most prominent tree planted along streets in the United States.

But Dutch elm disease made its way to the United States in the 1950’s and wiped out a lot of them. Now cities plant a variety of trees so they don’t lose them all in one clean swipe like they did with the elm tree.

10. Silver Maple

This tree grows to be a very large tree. It commonly reaches anywhere from 50-80 feet in height. Which makes it great for a shade tree.

But it also adds a splash of color because the leaves have a silver shade on the bottom of them. So every time the wind blows the leaves look shimmery.

11. Cleveland Pear

These pear trees are another gorgeous option for a shade tree. We actually had these line our driveway when I was growing up, and they provided a lot of shade in your garden.

So if you are looking for a decorative tree that will provide shade, then you might want to consider these flowering trees. The gorgeous white color of the tree really makes it stand out.

12. Mimosa

Mimosa Tree for sale wholesale

via Wholesale Nursery Co.

These trees are absolutely gorgeous too. They begin like any ordinary tree with a trunk and some green leaves.

Then the tree actually blooms. It has beautiful pink flowers stand out from the tree that really adds a lot of life anywhere the tree is planted.

13. October Glory Red Maple

This looks very similar to the red maple tree. It has the bright orangey red leaves on the tree. It is also a larger tree and fast growing like the original red maple.

But this tree is also known for being extremely low maintenance. So if you are wanting something that will take care of itself, then you might want to consider this tree as an option for the perfect shade tree.

14. Pink Dogwood


I love dogwood trees. They are a smaller shade tree that is really cute just to look at because of their petite frame. Having this tree in your backyard will give you kind of Japan style garden to enjoy.

But this dogwood is a little different as the flowers on it are pink. This will definitely add some color to your yard as well as shade.

15. Chinese Pistache

This tree has a lot of history to it. It is great for growing in rough or dry climates. They use it a lot in urban areas.

But this tree is also known for being ugly in the beginning. As it grows it goes through an ‘awkward’ phase where it is misshapen. Then it blooms into this beautifully rounded tree.

16. Northern Red Oak

Do you want a tree that will be vibrant most of the year? If so, then you need to consider this tree for your shade tree. It grows really well in most conditions, even urban conditions.

But it adds a lot of color to your yard as well. During the warmer months, its leaves are a beautiful green color. Then when fall hits the leaves turn a vibrant red.

17. Dawn Redwood

This tree can grow to be a really big tree. There is actually one in Virginia at the moment that has reached 120 feet in only a 30-year time period.

Besides the fact that it is large, it is also a really old type of tree. It was around with the dinosaurs. Clearly, it is also resourceful because at one point many thought this tree to be extinct. When in reality it was just busy growing in the mountains of China. Needless to say, once rediscovered, it made a come-back.

18. White Kousa Dogwood

I actually have a few of these in my yard right now. I live in the woods, and they just grew there naturally.

So I can tell you first hand, these little trees will provide shade and a great place to enjoy how beautiful nature is. Because this tree is really adorable.

19. Corkscrew Willow

This willow tree is a little different than the traditional willow tree because of the base of its trunk. In a typical willow tree, the trunk is just straight up and down.

Well, with a corkscrew willow tree, the trunk is twisted. It adds a little something extra to the tree while still providing the same beautiful foliage.

20. Northern Catalpa

This tree is one that will definitely become a show-stopper right in your own yard. It has a twisted tree trunk that is absolutely gorgeous.

But it also has large leaves on it that have dangling pods that hang from them. Then you really have to take notice at the white flowers that bloom from the tree as well.