View Full Version : Looking to plant a shade tree

05-23-2006, 08:26 AM
We have absolutely no shade in our yard. We are looking to plant a tree but have NO CLUE! I know I don't want a tree that flowers or drops acorns. I was thinking oak - but they have acorns right? I am also concerned about roots. I want them to go down not all over my lawn.

Anyone have an idea of what is a good shade tree? Is there a better time to plant?

05-23-2006, 08:39 AM
Oh I forgot to mention I am in Central NJ. My hardiness zones are 6 - 7

05-24-2006, 12:47 PM
Some trees seem more prone to surfact roots than others, but the biggest deciding factor I see concerns any slope the tree is planted on. For example, if you plant a pin oak for example it will be around for 50 years for sure, even it will probably have surface roots if you loose only a few inches of soil.

I've heard good things about Nyssa Sylvatica, probably referred to as tupelo or black gum. It grows to a moderate size, has great fall color, and doesn't drop hardly anything. It just isn't the fastest growing of trees.

All the oaks will drop acorns like you say, maples drop samaras (helicopters)....ash trees drop "missles" somewhat like maples but mine only do heavily every other year or so....its just how they reproduce. A nursery down the road advertises a gumbal free sweetgum, which is a very attractive tree otherwise. 20 years from now when I see a large one which doesn't produce seed I'll believe it.

05-24-2006, 02:58 PM
I, too, agree with Blackgum, however you won't get shade anytime soon!

How about Shumard oak? Yes, yes, I know they have aykerns (that's how we say it down south), but they aren't particularly obnoxious like Water oak. Their fruit is probably fairly manageable. You'll get shade much quicker.

But Red maple, perhaps?

05-24-2006, 09:47 PM
If you want very quick shade I would recomend getting a Hybrid Poplar which can grow 5-8 feet a year and has no acorns or flowers. You might want a Dawn Redwood, Weeping Willow, and Quaking Aspen all grow fast. Also a Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) is a very nice tree and grows fast but it has flowers and helicopter seed. Silver maple grows fast but is good only were it is protected from the wind by other trees because its wood is brittle and it also has large helicopter seeds.