What Are the Best Shade Trees For New Hampshire Landscapes?

Fall is the best time to plant shade trees in New Hampshire. It’s also a good time to think about “sprucing up” your yard now that summer is over and life is back to normal.

trees in the landscape

When considering the best shade trees for New Hampshire landscapes, you first have to consider why you are planting it. Typically there are three reasons for planting new trees:

Shade, Windbreak, and Privacy

Shade. If the objective is to provide shade from the summer sun, then you will want to plant a deciduous tree on the south or west side of your house.

Windbreak. If you’re looking to block winter winds to reduce energy bills, you’ll want to select a hardy needled evergreen and plant it on the northeast side.

Privacy. For privacy screening, either a deciduous tree or evergreen tree will work fine. With a deciduous tree planted, you get the benefit of fast growth. An evergreen tree provides year-round privacy, but can take longer to fill in. At Groundhog Landscaping, we often design privacy screens with a mixture of both evergreens and deciduous shade trees to get the benefit from both.

Once you’ve decided whether you’ll choose a deciduous tree or an evergreen tree, then you have to narrow it down from 50 or 60 choices of available species that thrive in a New Hampshire climate. As a shortcut, we would like to suggest to you a few of our favorite tried, tested, and true landscape trees that you might like to choose for your own yard:

Evergreen Trees

Blue Spruce (picea pungens ‘Glauca’) – a strong sturdy tree with blue foliage. Once established, a Blue Spruce will grow quickly to 50 feet. Spruce trees are generally deer resistant.

White Fir (abies ‘Concolor’) – similar to the blue Spruce, a Concolor Fir has striking blue needles, except they are soft to the touch and fragrant. This is an excellent choice for hedging large areas.

Japanese Black Pine (pinus thunbergiana) – a hard pine that is more salt tolerant and disease resistant than some of the other hard pines. Tough and hardy!

Deciduous Trees

Red Maple (acer rubrum ‘October Glory’) – you can’t go wrong with a maple tree in New England! Red maples tolerate wet conditions and extreme temperatures. Their red fall foliage is the harbinger of “leaf peeper” season in New Hampshire!

Skyline Honey Locust (gleditsia triacanthus inermis ‘Skyline’) – a great shade tree if you got the room. Honey locusts spread high and wide, with fine-textured foliage that allows sunlight through. Yellow fall foliage is eye-catching and spectacular.

Bradford Pear (pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’) – a popular street tree with dense foliage and white flowers that reaches a maximum height of 30 feet. Bradford’s are good off the corner of the foundation where shade of privacy is needed on one side. Grouped together, they are an excellent choice for as a privacy hedge.

As you are selecting your trees, keep in mind a general rule of thumb – the faster growing trees are also the most brittle. Weeping Willows and silver maples are great trees, as long as they are planted far away from the house, driveway, and power lines.

These are only a few of the many species and varieties of trees available for New Hampshire landscapes. Call Groundhog Landscaping today for a free consultation of what other shade trees might work best in your yard!

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