The Q&A Archives: Trees To Plant In Shade

Question: I just purchased a house last May- the previous owners planted two trees of unknown nature on the north side of our house, they were dead when we bought the house, even though I hoped that they would live. I am planning on replacing them, I have monitored the sun level of this area and it recieves very little, mostly early morning sun- no mid day sun, and virtually no evening sun. Due to this it appears as if the soil can be quite damp. What kind of tree can I plant in this area? Could I plant anything that would either show brillant fall color or flower?

Answer: There are few trees that thrive in shade and damp soil. Best performance will be from vine and Japanese maples. Other trees to consider include Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree), Laurus nobilis (Sweet Bay), and Davidia involucrata (Dove tree). Arbutus is a broadleaf evergreen, developing red berries in the winter months. A few of the Japanese maples will produce brilliant fall color ('Crimson Queen', 'Ever Red' and 'Dissectum'). Vine maple (Acer circinatum) will provide attractive fall color, as well.

Hope one of the above finds a home in your garden!

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