Trees that Thrive in the Shade

Trees that Thrive in the Shade

By Lindsey Paramore on September, 8 2020
Tree Highlights

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Lindsey Paramore

Are some parts of your property largely shaded by dense evergreens or tall buildings? Even without full sun exposure in your yard, you can still plant trees—you simply need to select a species that thrives in the shade. Here are some of the most popular shade-loving trees that grow well in hot southern climates.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

If you’re looking for a tree with dramatic fall foliage, the Bloodgood Japanese Maple delivers. The year-round burgundy red leaves of this small-sized deciduous tree turn bright scarlet every autumn. This species makes a lovely ornamental lawn tree and is the right size for small spaces.

You can grow a Bloodgood Japanese Maple without much effort. The easy-care tree thrives in filtered sunlight. In fact, its leaves could scorch on the margins if planted in full sun, especially in hot southern climates. It may look delicate, but this slow-growing species is a resilient addition to any shaded property!

Copper Beech

Also known as European Beech, the Copper Beech makes a gorgeous statement in any yard. Passersby won’t be able to resist gazing at the eye-catching purple foliage and smooth, silver-grey bark, even from half a block away!

The Copper Beech thrives well in moderately shaded areas, making it excellent for those parts of your yard that don’t get as much sun. It grows slowly and develops strong, sturdy roots, eventually reaching a medium-to-large size.

Savannah Holly

Often used as a privacy hedge or focal point, the Savannah Holly can grow as either a small tree or upright evergreen shrub. The glossy, light green leaves remain vibrant all year-round, with show-stopping fluorescent red berries that attract birds from far and wide in the autumn and winter months.

The Savannah Holly does best in full sun to partial shade, so you can expect it to thrive in your lightly shaded yard. It also tolerates pruning well, making it excellent for framing or creating barriers in your garden.

Eastern Redbud

The Eastern Redbud is named for its delicate, rosy blossoms that bloom every spring. Hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn to these flowers, filling your yard with beneficial pollinators. You’ll also find this medium-sized tree’s unique, irregular branching pattern intriguing.

While the Eastern Redbud prefers full sun, it also does well in lightly shaded areas, making it an ideal garden tree. It has a medium growth rate and low-to-moderate water requirements once established.


Also known as the Long-Leafed Yellowwood or Fern Pine, Podocarpus is an evergreen tree with low maintenance requirements and resistance to pests and disease. The soft, lush foliage makes an excellent privacy screen or windbreaker.

Podocarpus is a versatile tree that tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. It thrives in full sun or partial shade, grows well in rural or urban conditions, and can be pruned into a variety of shapes. It also grows quickly, reaching a total height of 40 feet if you let it grow naturally.

Crape Myrtle

If you have a shaded yard and love flowering ornamental trees, the Crape Myrtle is perfect for your property. This tree’s extremely long and reliable bloom cycles last from spring until fall, decorating your landscape with shades of red, white, purple, and pink for months on end. Fall colors are just as beautiful, with foliage that changes to golden, orange, and red.

The cold-hardy, drought-tolerant Crape Myrtle prefers full sun, but it tolerates partial shade as well. The slow-to-moderate growth rate brings the tree to a maximum height of 15 feet, with a crown that spreads 8 to 12 feet wide.

Modesto Ash

The glossy leaves of the Modesto Ash light up any landscape, especially in the fall when its leaves turn bright golden yellow. This tree is valued for its fast growth rate and broad, spreading crown. Whether planted in a landscape or as a street tree, it’s sure to add curb appeal.

While often used as a shade tree, Modesto Ash itself grows well in partial shade. It’s also considered drought-tolerant and has low-to-moderate watering needs once established. The tree gets bonus points for its resistance against heat, cold, and smog as well!

Plant a Shade-Loving Tree Today

Moon Valley Nurseries is the best place to shop for shade-loving trees. We sell vibrant, healthy, professionally matured trees that are ready to transplant into your yard today. We would be happy to provide placement ideas if you’re not sure what will work best. Our team can also deliver and plant your trees at your convenience. Rest assured that we factor in HOA standards and community-specific weather trends to make sure your new trees thrive.

To speak with a nursery professional about choosing trees for your shaded yard, please contact us online or visit one of our locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, or Florida.


Moon Valley Nurseries - |

Locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida


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