Which Trees are Great for Shade in the Summer?

Are you looking for the best ways to improve the comfort of your home? Incorporating shade trees in your yard can be a great idea. Shade trees provide comfort in summer when the indoor heat is no longer bearable, and the outdoors is bursting with full sun. To beat the summer heat for years, plant the best shade trees for your landscape.

The question is which trees are great for shade in the summer? This post highlights the best and the fastest-growing type of shade trees for summer.  Let us get started!

1.  Tulip Poplar

Recognized by the distinctive leaf shape, tulip poplar makes a perfect choice for the back and front yard. The tree features bright-green leaves that look like tulips, while the trunks are straight, dark gray, and grow up to 3 feet wide.

This shade tree features a glorious bloom, while the native species is attractive to honey bees. The shade tree grows pretty big and very fast, providing a suitable shade solution for your summer months. The tulip poplar requires rich moist soils that drain well. Plant the shade tree in full sun locations, because in low light situations, the branches may get skinny and weak. 

Tulip poplars can grow over 100 feet tall, hence not suitable for small yards. If grown in large yards, the tree’s dense canopy provides a generous shade keeping you cool during the hot summer sun. If you have large space in your yard, consider planting more than one tulip tree for that impressive display.

2.  Royal Empress

Classified as one of the fastest growing shade trees, the royal empress features large leaves with a rich green appearance, suitable for the colorful summer. The Royal empress features a densely leaved canopy providing a deep shade during summer. The tree grows perfectly in well-drained soil and does best in full sun locations. This unique shade tree is perfect for growing in your front yard as it presents an amazing appearance all-year round.

3.  American Red Maple

No matter the yard size, there is a perfect maple for a cool summer shade. If you are looking for a reliable shade tree that provides an amazing colorful appearance all year round, choose American native red maple. This tree features a nice oval canopy with bright green leaves that turn red in autumn. The tree features a high canopy; hence, branch structure can be seen perfectly. The tree also features a stunning fall display with buds opening to show red flowers.

While the American red maple is pest resistant, aphids and scales feed off its leaves and may cause discoloration of the leaves, and even dying. However, there is a wide range of pesticides to control the bugs.

4.  Weeping willow

Often planted by gardeners for a focal shade spot, a weeping willow features branches that gracefully arch downwards. The leaves are long and narrow, and feature a flexible twig that swings with slight breeze. The shade tree blooms in late winter or spring, when the yellow flowers appear.

Native to China, this tree is not only beautiful in your yard, but has several uses. It is tolerant to a wide variety of well-draining soil, but prefers moist and slightly acidic soil.


We have looked at some of the best shade trees to grow in your yard. The trees not only provide a shade, but are also good for the environment, and compound curb appeal. Talk to experienced gardeners for the best practices when planting the shade trees in your yard.

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