7 Shade Tolerant Trees and Shrubs Native to New Jersey

hammock shade garden backyard landscaping

Are you looking to plant some trees but have a yard full of shade? Whether you are looking for fruit, screening, or colorful fall foliage, there are plenty of native trees and shrubs to fit the bill. Check out these seven options to get some ideas.

chokecherry tree shade new jersey shrub

Common Chokecherry Tree (prunus virginiana)

The common chokecherry is a small deciduous shrub that can grow up to twelve feet. It produces white flowers that become small red fruits good for making jam. The chokecherry reproduces by suckering, which means its root system sends up shoots that turn into new plants. To avoid a yard overrun with chokecherries, trim new shoots as close to the ground as possible. Do not use chemicals to kill the shoots, as this could poison the entire tree.   



sweetbay magnolia tree nj shade fragrant

Sweetbay Magnolia (magnolia virginiana)

The sweetbay magnolia is a small deciduous tree that can grow up to twenty feet. Its petite white flowers are fragrant and produce fruit that attract songbirds. It blooms in May and June, and can thrive in partial shade or full sun.



Willow tree deciduous shade

Black Willow (salix nigra)

The Black Willow is a medium deciduous tree that can grow thirty to sixty feet tall. It is wet site tolerant. Although it thrives with plenty of moisture, it can also tolerate dry soils. When planted near running water, its root system reduces erosion and binds the soil.



birch tree shade sweet decideous tree

Cherry Birch (betula lenta)

Also known as black or sweet birch, the cherry birch is a large deciduous tree that grows up to fifty feet high. Its leaves turn a beautiful golden color in fall. This tree is susceptible to the bronze birch borer, especially when stressed. Completing regular walkthroughs of your landscape is important to maintaining all of your plant life.




linden tree basswood deciduous shade fragrant flowers

American Linden (tilia americana)

Also known as American basswood, the American linden is a large deciduous tree that can reach seventy feet in height. It thrives in full sun, but will tolerate shade. It produces fragrant flowers laden with nectar that attract honey bees. This nectar produces a premiere honey with a bold scent and flavor.




northern white cedar evergreen tree

Northern White Cedar (thuja occidentalis)

The northern white cedar is an evergreen that grows up to fifty feet tall. Plant this tree if you are looking to screen your yard from neighbors or passing traffic, but be aware that the tree attracts deer. Utilize organic deterrents to keep deer from coming close and feasting. This tree has a high cold-hardiness rating, and provides a home for many birds.




holly evergreen tree berries shade

American Holly (ilex opaca)

The American holly is an evergreen tree that produces festive red berries in winter. This tree grows slowly, eventually reaching a height of forty to fifty feet. It thrives in full sun, but can do well in partial shade.


When you are ready to plant your tree, contact our experienced arborists. They can offer advice on tree staking, preventing storm damage, providing curb appeal, and most importantly, maintaining healthy trees.


Recent Posts


Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP)

Play Video

Safety is Always our #1 Priority

Professional Top-of-the-Line Equipment

Play Video

Expertly Maintained Daily

Passionate About Tree Care

Play Video

Equally Passionate About Customer Satisfaction

Frank Sinatra Park

Play Video

Municipal Tree Services