The Q&A Archives: Planting Trees Around A Pool

Question: We are planning the construction of a pool and the landscape surrounding it. I would appreciate some input on the selection of some trees. We currently have two liquidambar which do not allow us to plant anything directly underneath it due to their roots. It was suggested that we plant more liquidambar and hackberry trees for shade. Could you suggest some deciduous trees other than the liquidambar, and also a type of deep-rooted shade tree that would be appropriate to plant near a pool and patio area?

Answer: You should give careful consideration to these factors when planting near pools; plants should be as litter free as possible (what litter they do produce should be too large to pass through the pool's filter); branches, foliage and flowers should be smooth, not bristly, prickly, sharp or thorny; the roots should not be invasive. Some of the best candidates for planting near your pool include Acacia stenophylla, Firminana simplex (Chinese Parasol Tree), Ensete (Banana Tree), Palms, Tree ferns and Schefflera. If you can plant it some distance from the pool, Fruitless Mulberry will give dense shade during the summertime. Mulberry trees can grow to great size unless pruned regularly, but they have no bad habits and will thrive in the situation you describe.

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