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Smaller shade conifers include small conifers ranging from 3 to 15 feet and medium conifers ranging from 15 to 45 feet. Shade trees require 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, while partial shade trees require 4 to 6 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.

Small shade conifers

Small shade conifers (3 to 15 feet) that do OK with 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained. Bear in mind that all smaller shade conifers need some light and that trees that get less light usually grow slower.

Scientific name Common name Shape Color
Microbiota decussata Russian Arborvitae Shrubby Green
Pinus mugo Swiss Mountain Pine Shrubby Green
Taxus canadensis Canadian Yew Shrubby Dark green

Medium shade conifers

Medium shade conifers (15 to 45 feet) that do OK with 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Bear in mind that all trees need some light and that trees that get less light usually grow slower.

Scientific name Common name Shape Color
Taxus baccata English Yew Depends on variety Depends on variety
Taxus cuspidata Japanese Yew Depends on variety Depends on variety

Small partial shade conifers

Small partial shade conifers (3 to 15 feet) that do well with 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name Shape Color
Microbiota decussata Russian Arborvitae Shrubby Green
Pinus mugo Swiss Mountain Pine Shrubby Green
Taxus canadensis Canadian Yew Shrubby Dark green

Medium partial shade conifers

Medium partial shade conifers (15 to 45 feet) that do well with 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name Shape Color
Abies fraseri Fraser Fir Broad cone Dark green
Juniperus virginiana Eastern Redcedar Narrow cone Medium green
Picea abies Norway Spruce Broad cone Dark green
Sciadopitys verticillata Umbrella-pine Broad to narrow cone Dark green
Taxus baccata English Yew Depends on variety Depends on variety
Taxus cuspidata Japanese Yew Depends on variety Depends on variety

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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