Tree or the like for shade - Knowledgebase Question

Waukesha, wi
Question by njandt
February 8, 2006
I am planning the new garden layout for our house and was wondering if you have any suggestions for a corner that I know only gets shade, but I'd love to do an ornamental tree surrounded by shade plants in. The corner is behind the garage, at the house, and therefore gets no sun at all. What I had in mind was a tree that would be around 8-10 feet tall, with the stems showing and then the crown a bit flatter, but adding a nice touch to the flower bed. Otherwise I think just adding flowers will be too boring and won't look right. Any suggestions would be appreciated!


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Answer from NGA
February 8, 2006

0

The site you describe might be too small for even a small tree so you may want to reconsider and plant a large shrub instead. Large shrubs can be trained into a single or multi-trunked tree and pruned to give just the look you want. If you'd still like to try growing a tree, the following tolerate bright shade:

Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Shade tolerance
Light to medium
Size
15 to 25 feet tall and wide
Interesting layered branching pattern. Creamy white flowers in late spring not as showy as flowering dogwood. Flowers followed by red turning bluish-black fruits in mid- to late summer. Does best with moist, cool soils.

Serviceberry, Juneberry (A. x grandiflora)
Shade tolerance
Light to medium
Size
15 to 25 feet tall, 10 to 20 feet wide
Clusters of white flowers in early spring followed by edible blue berries in late spring to early summer, much appreciated by birds. Does best in moist soils, but tolerates dry sites. Yellow to red fall color.

Sourwood, Lily of the Valley Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum)
Shade tolerance
Light to medium
Size
25 to 30 feet tall, 20 feet wide
Long showy panicles of white flowers produced in early summer. Flowers best in full sun. Fall foliage color red, yellow and purple. Does best in gravelly soils.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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