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The Best Trees for Shade


The Best Trees to Plant for Shade in Australia

Trees are important to our gardens for so many reasons, and we all know how important they are to the planet. Each variety of tree has particular benefits and characteristics, and some of them can be very beneficial to you and your garden, and others less so. Whilst Adelaide doesn’t have as much sun as other parts of Australia, you may still want some shade in your garden throughout the summer so let’s take a look at the best trees for that.

Things to consider are where you want your shade and how fast you’ll get it along with how much work will be required to keep it.


This tree is originally from Brazil but grows well in Australia. A fabulous violet flowering tree that can grow up to 15 metres in height. It drops its flowers during autumn so don’t plant near pools or gutters, but in an open lawn it’s looks beautiful and has a wide canopy.Pruning is a bad idea as it will cause growth spikes upwards, but left alone it will develop a beautiful wide canopy that will provide a great amount of shade whilst looking spectacular. Suits warm to tropical climates and tolerates very light frost, but will grow happily in Australia and very popular in QLD.

Yellow Box

A medium sized eucalyptus tree that also flowers whitish yellow in most months. It’s pretty tolerant of weather so hence grows well across all Australia. One of the best native trees for honey production too. Great for bush or mediterranean landscape designs it’s a versatile tree that looks good, and is easy to care for whilst producing a decent amount of shade.


This is an evergreen with very dense foliage. It can grow up to 20 metres and as it’s acacia it has needles (though flattened and leaf shaped) instead of leaves. The Blackwood blooms late July to December with whitish yellow flowers. Due to its density and size fit produces a great amount of shade and as it’s an evergreen it can be planted near buildings and pools without too much worry. It can be prone to furniture beetles, termites and powder-post beetles (sapwood) though and resists treatments.

Coast Banksia

Another evergreen, mostly grown ornamentally but it can produce a decent amount of shade from borders. It’s hardy and tolerant (also to winds) and a native to Australia so it’s easy to grow. The best part it it blooms beautiful characteristic cylindrical flowers from January to July. It can grow up to 20 metres high with a 10 metre canopy over time. Also called white honeysuckle and prefers deep sandy and clay soils to grow well. Attracts birds too so great for wildlife lovers.

Golden Robinia

This is a quick growing deciduous tree so ideal for creating shade quickly. It’s tolerant of poor soil so will grow in almost any garden. With white fragrant flowers it can produce a lovely smell in spring and its green leaves turn golden in autumn. It’s prone to root damage and suckering (sprouts from the roots) so mulching is essential and kept well watered. Prefers mulch rather than grass under its canopy so not ideal for lawns but a lovely looking tree that will give plenty of shade.

Whatever trees you choose, take into account the soil, the sun and things like paved areas and even windows for wide canopy trees. Your local arborists will be happy to do all this for you.