Shade Loving Trees for Small Spaces

Shade Loving Trees for Small Spaces

Kimber Watson
Apr 25, 2013

I'm fortunate to have a house in the city with a backyard that receives lots of morning sunlight and a front yard that basks in the strong afternoon sun.  I get to experience the best of both worlds, but many of my friends aren't as lucky, and their gardens and yards often show it.  Last week we gave you a few ideas for shade-loving plants — this week I'm going to round off the list with a few suggestions for shade-loving trees (and for an added bonus, they're also perfect for compact spaces!).  

While I did just state how I love the morning and afternoon sun my garden receives, I too have a shady area. This is common in many types of yards, but in general, the urban gardener often has to fight harder for the sun.  Whether it's the tall fence separating rowhouse yards or your neighbor's porch, balcony, awning or even a large tree, many common city obstructions impede sunlight. You might not be able to grow the vegetable garden of your dreams, but unless you plan on moving, you have no choice but to learn to work around the obstacles. Instead of lamenting your lack of sunlight, consider adding one of these trees to your shade garden.

1. Weeping Willow Leaved Pear - This slow-growing deciduous tree has a rounded-weeping habit with narrow, silvery foliage and creamy-white flowers that emerge in the spring. And as an added bonus, it tolerates pollution well!

2. Golden Irish Yew -  A narrow, slow-growing evergreen with leaves that are a striking light green.  It can grow 8 to 10 feet tall and has no problem thriving in a container. 

3. Flagpole Cherry - Who doesn't want a cherry tree, with delicate pink springtime blossoms?  If you have ruled them out because of space constraints, look no further. This slender tree can grow to up to 20 feet tall but only requires a small footprint.

4. Red Wood Japanese Maple - This version of a Japanese maple is of the dwarf variety, only reaching about 12 feet tall.  Its spring green foliage turns from light green to shades of yellow gold with pinkish highlights in the fall, and it boasts a beautiful reddish bark.  Another perk is it's well suited in a container.

(Image: Loree's Dangerously Beautiful Garden)

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