Suggestion for a tree in shade


My neighbour has a wonderful, large maple, and it provides shade most of the day on one part of our lawn. I have successfully planted various dogwoods on my side of the property, and would like to add another smaller tree beside them that will work well in shade, but also stay small (10ft or under) so as not to interfere with the maple. (See photo – I’m looking at the grassy area that would be across from my neighbour’s sheds) The trunk of the maple is about 10-15 ft from where I hope to plant this tree, and the tree would be under the canopy of the maple. The soil is not clay, and drains well. Something columnar that might add interest and stay compact is ideal. Evergreenswelcome! Thank you!


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

We receive numerous requests for information on shade loving trees, Simply type Shade trees, small specimen trees into the Find It Here box located to the right of the page to see all of our archived posts.

The following link provides information on a number of small evergreens that will grow in the shade:

Tall Shade Shrub or Small Tree gives suggestions for various small deciduous trees. You may also find the following links to be of use:   Small Specimen TreesTrees for small spaces,.

You may also like to consider planting a Japanese Maple. Most Japanese maples require full sun to partial shade, however the Crimson Queen weeping Japanese Maple will thrive in the shade of larger trees. It is probably the top-pick of the red-leaved, weeping forms, growing into a large shrub ten feet tall and about the same across. This tree is known for holding its red leaf-color through the summer better than any other form, even in shade. This tree is hardy to zone 6b. You do not mention where you are located. According to Toronto GardensIf you are located  close to Lake Ontario, you’re more likely to be Zone 6b and might have a microclimate (a pocket that is a zone unto itself) that’s Zone 7. In a more exposed situation, or farther from the lake, you might be Canadian Zone 5a or 5b.”

Good Luck in your search.