The Q&A Archives: Speciman for sun / shade

Question: I am looking for a speciman tree that can tolerate the hot, dry conditions in our area. Grow in full shade most of the day, in summer, under a large tree. However, the bed under this tree does get afternoon sun from about 1 hour, just before sunset.

I have looked at a number of Japenese Maples, as well as all types of evergreens, and they all seem to need afternoon shade. Because of the large tree, I need something that will not grow above 15 feet.

Any suggestions?


Answer: One hour of late afternoon sunshine shouldn't affect Japanese maples. They like dappled shade during the afternoon, but unless there is a lot of reflected heat during that one hour of sunshine, they should be able to adapt to the site. If you'd rather not take a chance, how about planting Ilex (holly) in the site? Or, instead of a tree, how about a large shrub that can be pruned into a tree shape? Camellia might work for you. Best wishes with your landscape.

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