The 10 Best Shade Trees in California

In California, we are lucky to enjoy pleasant weather throughout the year. The year-round sunshine and moderate temperatures create ideal growing conditions for shade trees in California that can improve the curb appeal of any property.

In this post, Ace Tree Service, your reliable tree service professionals in Folsom, CA, go through the best drought tolerant trees to plant in California. We can also assist with the best shade trees in North Central California, if you are looking for more localized information.  

10 Best Shade Trees to Grow in California

1. Magnolia

This Southern Belle does exceptionally well in most soil types in California. It requires little care and is also resistant to disease and pests. It is drought-tolerant due to its extensive root system. 

2. Oak

With over 20 species from which to choose, the oak is a staple part of the California landscape. It grows between 50 and 70 feet tall, so be sure you have the space for this giant. For shade trees in California, it’s hard to beat the hardy oak.

3. Camphor 

The Camphor tree offers an aromatic addition to the garden and is ideal for someone interested in medicinal plants. Be prepared for annual trims, as this tree has a tendency to look messy. 

4. Jacaranda

These beautiful trees will brighten up any yard with a blaze of color. Ranging from a delicate lavender to a bright purple flower, these trees are worth the effort. If you’re not a fan of mess, steer clear because the flowers shed everywhere. 

5. Crape Myrtle

This living bouquet is one of the most beautiful on the list. You need a spot in the full sunlight and will need to regularly water the tree when it’s young, but it rewards you with flowers that range from white to scarlet. After the second year, it takes care of itself. 

6. Mulberry 

While the berries are messy, they make an excellent addition to the garden. They are sweet and perfect straight off the tree or work well in jams and sauces. The tree grows easily and withstands various weather conditions. 

7. Red Flowering Gum 

The Red Flowering Gum will turn a head or two when it flowers. The bright blooms look spectacular against the blue sky and green canopy. It is a large, fast grower, so be prepared to trim it every year. 

8. Podocarpus 

This evergreen tree can reach up to 80 feet in height, so make sure to give it plenty of room. The thin leaves are deceptive because they provide a dense layer of shade that won’t let any sunlight through. These tough trees will survive even the worst California summers with minimal intervention. 

9. California Sycamore 

The California Sycamore provides shade and a talking point in your garden. It’s ideal for replacing a removed tree because of its quick growth. The canopy can reach 70 feet across, and the tree can reach 100 feet tall, so you need space. Plant it far away from structures, as the roots are voracious feeders. 

10. Australian Willow 

This Australian native transplants well into the Californian landscape. A medium-sized tree with a height of 35 feet and canopy size of 30 feet, this species suits smaller spaces. It is one of the most drought-tolerant options on this list. 

Get Professional Advice Today!

Do you need help mapping out your garden and choosing the best trees? Whether you’re looking for the best evergreens for privacy or the how to provide proper care for the best shade trees in California, our team can assist. Contact Ace Tree Service at (916) 934-3204 to schedule a professional consultation.