The Q&A Archives: Small Tree For Woodland Effect

Question: I'm looking for a small, VERY open-growing, tree that will cast only enough filtered shade to protect an Acer Palmatum and Magnolia sieboldii that I'd like to plant to the east of it. I'm trying to create a woodland effect around a stream waterfall, pond area. Southwest exposure is brutal in the summer. I'd like the shade to be as light as possible. Deciduous would be great. I like the light of a Jacaranda, but am concerned about the litter around the pond.

Previous recommendations: Tipuana tipu, Koalreuteria (too big), saw a pink Cassia grandis I wondered about. There are also a Rose of Sharon and Echium nearby that I don't want to shade too much.

Answer: Trees with large leaves are generally considered good shade trees because a dense canopy allows very little sunlight penetration. Since you're looking for filtered light rather than dense shade, trees with narrow leaves, or trees with small leaves will be most suitable. Consider Birch, Olive, Eucalyptus, Alder, Goldenchain, or Maytenus. Hope one of these suggestions fits the situation!

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