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7 Best Patio Trees for Shade

Here’s a list of ornamental trees in a variety of sizes to create shade for any patio.

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Patio Trees DigiStu/Getty Images

Patio Shade Trees

Whether your patio is right next to your house or a little farther away, planting a tree can be an easy way to provide some shade. Close patios may need a smaller tree, like a Japanese maple, or even a man-made solution like a pergola or shade sail. Patios set away from the house can handle something larger, like a tulip tree.

Here are some ornamental patio trees for shade that also add color to your patio landscaping.

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Crape Myrtle Tony Nguyen/Getty Images

Crape Myrtle

Crape myrtle trees are all over the Southern United States. These pretty, flowering trees are a landscaping stalwart. Large clusters of delicate, long-lasting blossoms fill yards with bursts of pink, red or purple all summer.

For purple flowers, the Purple Magic Crape Myrtle Tree is a good option. It reaches a mature height of ten feet, making it the perfect size patio tree for shade.

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Japanese Maple bruceman/Getty Images

Japanese Maple

Japanese maple trees offer the same dazzling fall foliage and five-point leaves as other maple trees, but their size, shape and summer color set them apart from the rest.

Some of these fantastic patio trees, such as the Bloodgood Red Japanese Maple Tree, display deep red leaves from spring to fall, while others only turn red as winter approaches. They’re also popular for their slender leaves and smaller size. The Bloodgood reaches a mature height of 15 to 20 feet.

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Crabapple lawcain/Getty Images

Ornamental Crabapple

Crabapple trees are popular landscaping plants due to their hardiness. They can even grow in areas with temperatures below zero. Of course, the beautiful crabapple flowers are another perk of planting this tree near your patio.

Ornamental crabapple trees come in various colors, including white, pink and deep red, like this Profusion Crabapple. It reaches a mature height of 20 to 25 feet.

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Southern Magnolia Denis_prof/Getty Images

Southern Magnolia

Southern magnolia’s enormous, fragrant flowers are dazzling on or off the tree. And the tree’s leaves are a glossy green.

The Little Gem Magnolia takes two or three years to flower. But once it does, the blooms last from May through October. It’s a slow-growing patio tree with a mature height of 20 to 25 feet, and it’s hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7.

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Tulip Tree Flowers Gettyimages 1225930539Yanosh_Nemesh/Getty Images

Tulip Tree

Here’s a less common but equally gorgeous patio tree: the tulip tree. The state tree of Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, these beauties are especially popular in the eastern United States. Mature trees feature tulip-like orange and green blossoms. These fast-growing patio trees can benefit from pruning.

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Redbud Trees Joe_Potato/Getty Images


Redbud trees have a distinctive spring look. Tiny flowers cover their branches before any leaves sprout, giving the appearance of an all-pink tree. Redbud trees fill out with green leaves once their flowers are spent.

This Eastern Redbud Tree grows up to 30 feet tall and provides spring color and summer shade to patios in Zones 4 through 9.

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Japanese Magnolia Joe_Potato/Getty Images

Japanese Magnolia

Japanese magnolia trees can handle lower temperatures than southern magnolias, which makes them a better patio tree for shade in Northern regions.

Unlike the southern magnolia, these hardy trees bloom only in the spring, and their flowers are much smaller. The Japanese Magnolia Alexandrina has eye-catching pink blooms that start dark at the base and lighten toward the edge.

Mikayla Borchert
Mikayla is an assistant editor for Family Handyman, specializing in indoor and outdoor gardening, organization and décor. She has one cat and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, she likes running, skiing, hiking and tending her balcony garden.