Five Shade-Tolerant Trees For Your Property

You can do a number of things to make your property more hospitable for your favorite trees. Among other things, you can provide supplemental water, add fertilizer to the soil or tinker with the drainage patterns of the land. But sun exposure is pretty tricky to adjust. There are likely to be a few spots on your property that are perpetually dappled in shade.

The only way to grow trees in these spots is to select species, varieties or cultivars accustomed to living in the forest understory. While all trees require some light to live, the following five species are all trees that will grow well in light to full shade.

Tricolor Beech

A cultivar of the European beech, the tricolor beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-marginata') is, like most other beeches, very tolerant of shade. Named for its attractive purple, rose and cream leaves, tricolor beeches are rather small and rarely exceed 30-feet in height.

Flowering Dogwood

Although they are often planted in areas with full sun, dogwoods are at their best in shaded areas. Dogwoods are celebrated for their flamboyant flowers, which occur in white, red or yellow, depending on which cultivar you choose. Dogwood trees occasionally reach 45 feet in height, but most remain much smaller.

Purple Weeping Beech

Like the tricolor beech, the purple weeping beech (F. sylvatica 'Purpurea pendula') is a cultivar of the European beech. However, purple weeping beeches require at least partial sun exposure to thrive. Covered in dense purple leaves, these trees remain even smaller than tricolor beeches, and typically reach about 10 feet in height. Purple weeping beeches have, as their name suggests, a weeping growth habit, and they typically form a dome-shaped canopy.

American Hornbeam (Ironwood)

The American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is a very attractive species, native to low lying riparian areas throughout the eastern United States. Noted for their smooth, muscular trunks, American hornbeams are small trees, rarely exceed 20 feet in height, making them well-suited for small planting locations.

Red Maple

The red maple (Acer rubrum) is one of the best trees for adding color to your property all year long. The tree's red flowers adorn the branches in spring, while red samaras (seed pods) decorate the branches in the summer. During the fall, red maples produce glorious red and yellow foliage, and in the winter, when most other trees are gray and unappealing, red maples display young red branches. Contact a business, such as Hodgson's Expert Tree Service, for more information.