Asked on Jun 22, 2013

Zone 7 fast-growing, shade tree recommendations?

Douglas HuntCyndi Moore Tippett


Our 17 year old Bradford pear came down in a storm last week (yea, no surprise there if you're familiar with them). It was in the middle of our north facing front yard, and had grown quite large, so now the yard seems very strange and bare. As much as I'd like some instant shade, I know that won't happen again till I'm a very old lady. I'm considering something not too giant such as a River Birch, or a Sweetbay Magnolia. Any thoughts on those? Also, what is the evergreen Magnolia that can be shaped like a shade tree that stay under 60 ft at maturity?
2 answers
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett
    Cyndi Moore Tippett
    on Jun 22, 2013

    My mom put a flowering Plum tree in her yard and it only took three years for it to be 12 to 15 feet tall and the leaves and bark were the prettiest aspects of it. A male crabapple tree is pretty without the worrisome fruit. You might try the crepe myrtles some can get quite tall and if you don't "murder" them each year they can be quite beautiful and full.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 23, 2013

    I can understand your desire for quick shade, Susan, but fast-growing trees often come with the same problems as your Bradford pear. It sounds like you have the perfect spot for a redbud to me. Franklinia is a beautiful native tree that has camellia-like flowers in October. Sourwood is another wonderful native. North Carolina State has a host of recommendations here:

Your comment...