House & Garden

Five Fast Growing Shade Trees for Your Garden


Over the past few years, the weather has really warmed up in the UK. Last summer, was a scorcher, with temperatures, in many areas, reaching record levels.

Naturally, this change in the climate has got us all thinking about changing what we plant in our gardens. Today, more people are investigating the idea of planting shade trees to provide them with a shady spot to relax in on those blisteringly hot days. With this trend in mind, I thought I would do a little research to see what was available. I found exactly what I needed when looking at

This retailer sells hundreds of different tree varieties, including dozens of different shade trees. Here are a few of my favourites. Trees that will make your garden look wonderful as well as provide you with somewhere cool to lie or read on a very hot day.

Birch trees

Birch trees are fast growing and very beautiful to look at. The lovely white bark provides contrast and reflects the sun. It also means that this tree still looks stunning even in the winter, when the leaves have dropped. Take a look at the paper birch, this variety is particularly beautiful.

Plus, if you want to you can tap these trees and make your own syrup. The garden centre you buy your tree from will tell you which varieties to look at, if you want to do this. Then all you have to go online and look at a few how to videos to find out how to do it.

Weeping willows

These shade trees grow at a phenomenal rate. In the right conditions they can easily put on 8 feet per year. They look wonderful. But, they grow really big, so you need a lot of space to be able to grow one of these beauties. Plus the roots spread a long way, so you have to plant them a long way away from drains, foundations and cess pits.

Red maples

A lot of people do not think of maple trees as shade trees. This is largely because they have only ever come across the smaller ornamental versions of this  tree family.

But, most of the regular varieties can easily reach 40 feet, so there is plenty of room under the canopy for you to sit and relax. The red maple is particularly beautiful. It is also worth taking a look at the Japanese maple varieties.

Poplar trees

Poplar trees have quite a narrow canopy, so a lot of people do not think of them as shade trees, but they are. Once mature there is still plenty of space under the branches to pull up a tree and read a book.

Oak trees

If you do not mind waiting, oak trees can make wonderful shade trees. The red oak is particularly stunning.

Looking after your trees

Whichever shade tree you choose it is important to take care of them. They are big trees, which would cost a lot of money to have removed if they were to become diseased and unsafe. So, spending a little time each year looking after them makes a lot of sense.

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