These Are the Best Shade Trees for Utah Yards


Temperatures in the Salt Lake City area are getting hotter every summer, and it’s only going to get worse. One of the easiest ways to combat the extra sun is by planting a shade tree. These trees provide ample protection from the sun’s rays, and many grow rather quickly, so you won’t have to wait long to enjoy a reprieve from the heat and save on your energy bill.



Bald cypress trees are stables of southern swamplands, but they will tolerate hardiness zones 4 – 10, which means they’re perfect for hot, dry areas like Salt Lake City. Their canopies spread beautifully, making them an ideal shade tree during the oppressive heat of Utah’s summers. Keep in mind that it does produce cones, so you’ll have to remove them from your lawn or ask your lawn care service provider to rake them up.

Sun Preference: Ideally, six hours of direct sunlight.

Height: You can expect your cypress to reach 50 – 70 feet and have a spread of about 25 feet.

Soil Conditions: Grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, and clay soils.

Growth rate: One to two feet per year.


Gingko trees have unique fan-shaped leaves that produce a gorgeous yellow color in the fall. It tolerates urban conditions well, including air pollution or added heat, making it perfect for the Salt Lake City metro area. It’s also one of the oldest trees still in existence! Fossils of this species have been dated to 270 million years ago! In addition to providing ample shade, you’ll love the ornamental look of the leaves!

Sun Preference: Likes some direct sunlight but will tolerate partial shade.

Height: Your ginkgo tree will grow between 25 and 50 feet in height and spread between 25 and 35 feet once it reaches maturity.

Soil Conditions: Acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, wet, and clay soils.

Growth Rate: One to two feet per year.


Kentucky coffeetrees are one of the most drought-tolerant trees available. It’s also incredibly adaptable to different soils and will put up with any air pollution. Like the ginkgo, it serves not only as a shade tree but also as a lovely ornamental tree that will make a beautiful addition to your garden. This tree also has small greenish-white flowers that bloom in May and June.

Sun Preference: Full sun for at least six hours a day

Height: 60 – 75 feet high and 40 – 50 foot spread once it reaches maturity

Soil Conditions: Acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained, wet, and clay soils. Tolerates wet soil but also has extreme drought tolerance.

Growth Rate: Up to 24 inches per year


Red maples are a gift for your yard all year long. In summer, you’ll enjoy plenty of shade and shelter from the hot sun underneath a vibrant green canopy. In fall, that canopy turns a gorgeous shade of red or yellow. This tree is adaptable to many soils and grows quickly.

Sun Preference: Like many trees, the red maple prefers at least six hours of interrupted sunlight a day.

Height: 40 – 60 feet in height and about 40 feet of spread after maturity

Soil Conditions: Grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, and clay soils. It prefers wet soil conditions but has slight drought tolerance.

Growth Rate: Between 13 and over 24 inches a year.


Originally from China, this lovely shade tree produces gracefully sweeping branches. Set up a bench or other outdoor furniture beneath its boughs, and you’ve got yourself a dream backyard.

Sun Preference: Weeping willows like full sun for a minimum of four hours but will also tolerate partial shade.

Height: Between 30 – 40 feet high and 35 feet wide at maturity.

Soil Conditions: Grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. It has some drought tolerance but does best if grown near water. Ask your tree care technician about mulching around the base to give your weeping willow the extra moisture it craves.

Growth Rate: If you want a shade tree fast, weeping willows are the choice for you. They grow FAST – over 24 inches a year!


Once you’ve chosen the tree you’ll add to your backyard, trust the experts at Fert-A-Lawn to care for it. We are a lawn maintenance company with over 25 years of experience carrying for Utah’s yards. Our tree and shrub care program provides all the nutrients your tree needs to grow strong, plus pest control to keep it free from bugs and diseases. Let us put our expertise to work for you! Give us a call at 801-429-9179 or leave us a message online. We’re happy to discuss your tree’s needs and your goals for achieving the yard of your dreams. You can also learn more about what we do on our blog page, where we post monthly articles on all manner of lawn care topics. You can check out photos of our work and stay up to date on the latest deals by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.


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