Picking the Best Shade Tree for Your Property in Windsor-Essex

There are a lot of considerations when choosing the best shade tree for your property. Some trees have a dense canopy capable of blocking the hot afternoon sun. The size, shape and colour and whether or not the tree produces flowers and fragrance will also determine which tree is the best choice for your yard. Many shade trees grow large so be sure to select a variety that will remain suitable for your planting location as it grows.

At Maidstone Tree Farm, we carry “the usual to the unusual." Our picks for the best unusual shade trees include:
  • Japanese Zelkova Serrata (aka Zelkova)
  • Parrotia Persica (aka Ironwood)
  • Liriodendron Tulipifera Aureomarginatum (aka variegated tulip tree)
Other Featured Trees
Ornamental Pear—Pyrus
These trees are a great choice for a residential landscape. They are considered clean trees. Ornamental Pears are covered in white flowers in the spring, glossy green leaves in the summer and display a gorgeous reddish-purple fall colour.

Varieties of Ornamental Pear
  • Pyrus Chanticleer—this cultivar is a great choice for the average size residential property. The branches are at an acute angle which gives the tree an upright pyramidal shape.
  • Pyrus Capital—the narrowest pear tree; wonderfully suited for a tight spot or a small property.
  • Pyrus Aristocrat—this cultivar has all the same wonderful attributes of the other ornamental pears. The difference is the branching is more horizontal creating a wider tree with a more open form.
Redbud—Cercis
The greatest attribute of the redbud tree is the showy spring colour and fragrance. The entire tree is covered in rose pink buds in early spring making a spectacular display. It is a nice small tree that will be a great addition to any landscape.

Varieties of Redbud
  • Eastern (Cercis Canadensis)—This cultivar has the wonderful pink display in the early spring and then green heart shaped leaves emerge. It is available in single stem tree form or multi-stem varieties.
  • Forest Pansy (Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’)—Again, the Forest Pansy Redbud has the same spring show of pink buds, but the leaves that emerge are a showy reddish colour providing a nice contrast to the landscape.
  • The Lavender Twist Redbud (Cercis Canadensis ‘Covey’)—The Lavender Twist Redbud combines the gorgeous spring flower buds with weeping branches and a unique twisted form providing interest in all 4 seasons.
Locust Trees—Gleditsia
These spreading deciduous trees have fine feathery foliage which gives them a somewhat tropical look, especially great near a swimming pool. They are considered to have a fast growth rate, typically growing 1 to 2 feet per year. They are tough, vigorous trees which perform well in extreme cold, heat and humidity, and they are also salt tolerant. If you don’t like raking leaves in the fall, this is your tree because the leaves are so small they just shrivel up in late autumn.

Varieties of Locust
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos (Inermis)—Sunburst Honey Locust is a favourite tree because the bright yellow leaves provide a contrast to the green in the surrounding landscape. Tiny fragrant flowers open in May and June.
  • Shademaster Honey Locust (Gleditsia Triacanthos Inermis)—this variety will provide the same filtered shade and very few seed pods in autumn. It is an upright tree with ascending branches which form a lovely canopy of glossy green foliage which turns golden yellow in the fall.
  • Purple Robe Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia ‘Purple Robe’)—technically not a locust, but this tree is closely related to the common black locust. It is a medium-sized upright tree with a compact rounded form. In the early summer, it is a showstopper because it produces an abundance of dark purple fragrant flowers.
Maple Trees—Acer
Maple trees are strong medium to large trees which form a dense canopy and excellent shade for the landscape. All varieties have keys or seed pods which resemble a wing nut (like from a hardware store). Maples are considered vigorous because they are drought tolerant and can adapt to many different types of soil. They are widely planted all over North America because they are considered a quality fast growing tree.

Varieties of Maples
  • Acer Rubrum ‘Red Sunset’—This excellent cultivar of the red maple is one of the most popular selections. It is very adaptable and can withstand moist or drought conditions. The foliage on the upper outer part of the canopy is a rich shiny green and inside the canopy, the leaves are a lighter green shade. In the autumn, the leaves and stems turn a fiery red-orange colour which matures to a darker red crimson colour. The reddish stems and twigs provide winter interest after the foliage has fallen.
  • Acer Rubrum “October Glory’—Another very popular selection because of its dependable fall colour. October Glory has medium green glossy leaves during the spring and summer months. In autumn, the leaves turn deep orange – red and remain on the tree much longer than the other maple trees, providing a gorgeous display well into the month of November.
  • Acer Platanoides ‘ Royal Red’ and ‘Crimson King’—We have grouped these two varieties together because they have very similar characteristics. The only notable difference is that the Royal Red may be a little faster growing. Both trees have sturdy straight trunks and form a dense canopy. They have deep maroon-purple foliage during the spring, summer and autumn months. This superior colour provides a wonderful contrast to the many green trees common in the landscape.

Be sure to stop by and our knowledgeable staff will assist you in finding the perfect tree to enhance your property. And remember to call before you dig!