Backyard tree suggestion


Hello there!

I’m hoping to get your advice on a tree for my backyard. I live in Moore Park and am looking for a tree that:
– Is a fast grower to at least 30 feet tall (taller is okay)
– Has a canopy of about 20-25 feet since that’s roughly the space between buildings where the tree will be planted (so the root system should accommodate the same)
– Has more foliage/girth at the top than the bottom to provide shade / privacy
– Will do well in a north facing backyard. The space gets very good sun now but over the years nearby trees to the east may cast a shadow

I truly appreciate your help.


Hello and thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners, we are happy to help you!

There are several evergreen varieties and some Ash and Poplar, but you specified something that you could sit under and use for shade so perhaps the best tree for what you are looking for would be a Silver maple (Acer saccharinum).

Here is an excellent reference point:

The Characteristics of the Silver Maple Tree (

They tend to grow about 2 or 3 feet a year in your zone.

There are a few other options given that, at maturity, the Silver maple is quite a big tree hitting heights of 60 foot with a large spread. (Do not plant closer than 15 feet from any walls or fences that could heave with the roots).

There is also a hybrid of the silver maple tree (crossed with a red maple) called an ‘Autumn Blaze’ Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii). Check for both at your favourite nursery!

Another great resource is LEAF. LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the urban forest. They offer native tree species at a reduced cost. They have a full service program or a do -it yourself tree planting program. see this link for more details. Some other trees of interest which would fit your criteria are Ironwood, Hackberry, Blue Beech. This link provides descriptions of each of these trees.

Happy planting!