North American Shade Trees

In North America there are plenty of lovely trees planted with the purpose of portioning off a section of landscape to bring in shade . These shade trees can be beautiful long-term additions with their fall color, their gentle wind sway, and the adornment to the land. North American shade trees are plentiful and have many leaf styles, colors, shapes and sizes for varying gardener tastes.

American Beech

Fagus grandifolia from the Fagaceae family of plants, or the American beech, is a slow-growing deciduous tree. It grows 50 to 70 feet tall and can get 120 feet wide. Its leaves are dark green and glossy in the summer and bronze in the fall. Flowers are inconspicuous and in April and May. The American beech propagates via seed.


Acer negundo from the Aceraceae family of plants, the boxelder, is a fast-growing deciduous tree. It gets 30 to 60 feet tall with an irregular shape. The 2- to 3-inch-long leaves are light green to gray-green in the summer, and pale yellow in fall. Flowers are yellow-green and in March and April. They can propagate via seed or cuttings.

Sweet Birch

Betula lenta from the Betulaceae family of plants, the sweet birch or cherry birch, is a medium-textured deciduous tree. It grows 70 to 80 feet high in wild, but 40 to 55 feet in the yard. The leaves are 2 1/2 to 6 inches long, shiny green in summer and yellow in fall. Flowers are in catkins and bloom in April. The sweet birch propagates via seed.

Dahurian Birch

Betula davurica from the Betulaceae family of plants, the Dahurian birch, is a medium-textured deciduous tree. It gets 40 to 60 feet tall. Its leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, dark green, and yellow in the fall. Flowers are in catkins and bloom in April. It propagates via seed.

Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis from the Leguminosae family of plants, the eastern redbud, is a deciduous tree that gets 20 to 30 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet wide. Leaves are heart-shaped and 3 to 5 inches long with bright green at the beginning, maturing to dark green, and then yellowish green in the fall. Flowers are in clusters in purple-pink hues from April to May. The eastern redbud propagates via seed or grafting.

Keywords: North America, shade trees, North American shade trees

About this Author

T.M. Samuels, a freelancer for more than 20 years, writes on health and wellness topics. She typically picks topics on medical conditions, side effects or ingredients in personal care products. Her print credits include "Arthritis Today" and "Mature Years." She is happy to be a LIVESTRONG writer.