Best Picks for Shade Trees

Jerry Goodspeed, horticulturist with the Utah State University Extension offers his favorite, less common, trees for Northern, and Southern Utah.


My favorite less common trees for Northern Utah:

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

• Medium growth rate

• Great fall color

• Adaptable to many soils

• Few pests

• Does better with good drainage

• Large mature tree

Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

• Deciduous conifer

• Drops its needle in fall

• Great fall color

• Nice spring growth

• Tall tree

• Few pests

• Very unique

Goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

• Medium sized tree {#Goldenrain }

• Yellow flowers in the summer

• Brown to purple seed pods in the fall

• A little messy, but not bad

• Few pests

A tree that grows well in both Northern and Southern Utah:

Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’)

• Nice blue color

• Unique shape

• Few pests

• Nice specimen tree

• 60 + feet tall

More favorites for Southern Utah:

Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)

• Good large shade tree

• Nice fall color

• Interesting Bark

Lace Bark Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

• Good medium to large shade tree

• Nice elm

• Wonderful bark

• Good fall color

Bonus Tree (If you can find it):

American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)

• Fragrant white spring flowers in clusters

• Medium tree

• Seed pods

• Does not flower every year

• Vase shape


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