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Japanese maples are very interesting medium shade trees

Japanese maples are eye catchers

Medium shade trees are deciduous trees ranging from 15 to 30 feet. Full shade trees require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day (don’t forget that these aren’t endives – they do need light), while partial shade trees require 2 to 4 hours. Bear in mind that the less sun a tree gets, the slower it usually grows.

Note that, in each list, trees from different climate zones with different growing conditions may be mixed together. Before making a final choice on any given tree, always check all its characteristics to ensure it is the right tree for the right place.

Medium shade trees for full shade, drained locations

Medium full shade trees (15 to 30 feet) that require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name
Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam
Hamamelis virginiana Common Witchhazel
Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia
Ptelea trifoliata Hoptree
Viburnum lentago Nannyberry Viburnum
Viburnum prunifolium Blackhaw Viburnum

Medium shade trees for full shade, wet locations

Medium full shade trees (15 to 30 feet) that require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day and that can thrive in wet locations.

Scientific name Common name
Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia

Medium shade trees for partial shade, drained locations

Medium partial shade trees (15 to 30 feet) that require between 2 and 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name
Acer palmatum Japanese Maple
Acer pensylvanicum Striped Maple
Acer carpinifolium Hornbeam Maple
Acer cissifolium Ivy-leaved Maple
Acer davidii David Maple
Amelanchier arborea Downy Serviceberry
Amelanchier canadensis Shadblow Serviceberry
Amelanchier laevis Allegheny Serviceberry
Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam
Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood
Halesia carolina Carolina Silverbell
Hamamelis virginiana Common Witchhazel
Hamamelis vernalis Vernal Witchhazel
Hydrangea paniculata Panicle Hydrangea
Magnolia tripetala Umbrella Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia
Ostrya virginiana American Hophornbeam
Ptelea trifoliata Hoptree
Rhamnus frangula Glossy Buckthorn
Viburnum lentago Nannyberry Viburnum

Medium shade trees for partial shade, wet locations

Medium shade trees (zones ranging from 2 to 6) that require between 2 and 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and that can thrive in wet locations.

Scientific name Common name
Amelanchier arborea Downy Serviceberry
Amelanchier canadensis Shadblow Serviceberry
Amelanchier laevis Allegheny Serviceberry
Hamamelis vernalis Vernal Witchhazel
Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia

Consider visiting our Shade plants page, where you will find general information on growing plants in shady locations.

Have you considered all the options available to you? If not, then have a look at our Landscaping plants page.

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