The Q&A Archives: Shade Tree Selection

Question: I need a shade tree for my backyard that does not exceed 50 ft. and will make a beautiful addition to our landscape. I live in SC and our soil is sand. What would be a pretty, shady, fast growing but not too tall, tree?

Answer: Some of the best shade trees for your gardening region include:
River Birch, fast growing, interesting peeling bark, lower branches droop;
Deodar Cedar, fast growing, evergreen Pyramidal form requires large planting area;
Leyland Cypress, fast, evergreen, makes excellent screen, useful as Christmas tree;
Chinese Elm (Lacebark), fast growing, deciduous, hardy, handsome ornamnetal with showy bark; American Linden, medium growing, deciduous, drought tolerant, large shade tree; Southern Magnolia, medium, evergreen; Red Maple, fast, deciduous, protect thin bark on young plants from injury, hardy plant; Sugar Maple,medium, deciduous; Chestnut Oak, medium, deciduous, drought resistant; Laurel Oak, fast, semi-evergreen, handsome shade tree; Live Oak, medium, evergreen, broad spreading canopy; Pin Oak, fast, deciduous, hardy, holds brown leaves through winter; Loblolly Pine, fast, evergreen, tolerates poor soil; Longleaf Pine, fast, evergreen; London Planetree, fast, deciduous, hardy, creamy colored peeling bark; Eastern Redcedar, medium growth rate, evergreen; Sweetgum, medium, deciduous; Sycamore, fast, deciduous, creamy white bark; Yellow Poplar (Tulip Poplar), fast, deciduous, likes moist sites; Japanese Zelkova, medium, deciduous, has short trunk and spreading branches, disease resistant.

Hope this short list gives you some ideas for the perfect backyard tree.

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