what shade tree will take a little shade?

homesteader57(7)October 8, 2013

I would like to plant a large shade tree in the front yard to shade the roof. Want to cut down on cooling bills.

Thinking of planting a red maple (Autumn Blaze). It will get just a little shade on one side. Is this a problem. How far away from driveway should I plant it. The closer I plant it to the driveway, the sunnier it will be.

Take care and thanks!

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To answer your original questions: Any tree will take a little shade but it depends on your definition of 'little'. Also, the maple you desire to plant will need 15'+ of root space away from paved surfaces that you wish to keep intact.

IMO, you should not plant that tree at all. It is a variant of Silver Maple, which is one of the worst trees you can plant. The roots are highly invasive, the wood is weak and the amount of seeds that come from this tree is astonishing. There are better trees than this that will shade your house and be much less of a nuisance.

I would suggest any of the following:

Quercus rubra
Gleditsia triacanthos - a thornless variety of course
Liquidambar styraciflua - great fall foliage

All these options are assuming you get decent rain as I don't know where in zone 7 you are.

If you're really wanting a maple, generally they are good trees but there are better varieties. I am not well versed in an array of other maples but there are a lot of people on here that are and could help. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:07PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) can take some shade, but in zone 7 it depends *which* zone 7 you're in. They can get finicky about hot, dry soil (but also dislike being too wet), and being on/near pavement is hard on them.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:24PM
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About how tall, and how broad, would you like this tree to be?

I assume you want fairly fast-growing to achieve the purpose, but not weak-wooded (which some fast-growing trees are).

What leapt to my mind was red oak group members, like the Shumard oak, but I don't know about your specific planting site.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:33PM
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These trees are supposed to take partial shade:

Acer miyabei Miyabei Maple
Acer platanoides Norway Maple (please don't plant this weed)
Acer psuedoplatanus Sycamore Maple
Acer saccharum Sugar Maple
Acer tataricum Tartarian Maple
Acer ginnala Amur Maple
Alnus glutinosa European Alder
Amelanchier species Serviceberry
Betula nigra Heritage& Dura-Heat River Birch
Carpinus caroliniana Ironwood
Celtis laevigata Sugar Hackberry
Celtis occidentalis Common Hackberry Cercidiphyllum japonicum Katsura Tree
Cercis canadensis Eastern Redbud
Cornus mas Corneliancherry Dogwood
Ostrya virginiana American Hophornbeam
Parrotia persica Persian Parrotia
Syringa reticulata Japanese Tree Lilac

I didn't check the zones on those but all the maples but the last two and birches would probably work for your situation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Guide to selecting shade trees

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:43PM
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Quercus Alba can take some shade it is a forest tree. I have one in too much shade. It hasn't grown much about 6 inches but has survived. I have it under a slowly declining tree. It is in all shade though. In a little shade it will surely do better. Just thought I would add this, but in the best situation it would like full sun or 6-8 hrs sun a day.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:15PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Quercus alba is not a tree I'd recommend just because of its slow growth rate, even in sun its a slow one. If the original poster wants shade to cut down on bills, they'll be waiting a LONG time for Quercus alba to do the job.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:13AM
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