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Best Backyard Trees That Are Easy To Maintain

February 8, 2022 Jill Raver
Filed in: Landscaping Guides
best backyard trees

Shade trees are the best backyard trees and many are easy to maintain. Backyard trees that provide shade to cool your family and home are in high demand. Just one or two trees can add so much to your landscape. Most shade trees are fast growing especially for the first ten years. So they can quickly fill in and give
you the look you desire. These trees are also good for the environment. They clean the air and provide sustenance and housing for wildlife. Large trees can even reduce your electric bill in summer by shading your home. Small shade trees can add beauty and shade to smaller yards.

The best backyard trees are fast growing, drought tolerant, and low maintenance. Native trees are excellent choices. They thrive in their native regions and contribute to the surrounding environment.

Here are some of our favorite low-maintenance backyard trees:

Best Backyard Trees

American sycamore tree

American Sycamore

Platanus occidentalis
Growing Zone: 4-9
Mature Height: Up to 70 feet tall
Mature Width: Up to 50 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Fall Color: Yellow

This extremely fast growing shade tree is for large backyards. It can provide a lot of shade with its massive canopy. The American Sycamore tree is a tough tree that can stand up to deer, pollution, salt, high winds, wet soil, and drought. It grows throughout most of the United States. Plant this native backyard tree in US growing zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Buy the American Sycamore Tree online here.

Dogwood Tree

Northern Red Oak

Cornus florida
Growing Zones 5-9
Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet tall
Mature Width: 20 to 30 feet tall
Growth Rate: Moderate

The Flowering Dogwood is often seen as a front yard tree, but why not put the beauty in your backyard too? Choose from red, white, or pink blooms. This tree tolerates shade so it can be used to layer the trees in your landscape for a naturalized look. It is also perfect for urban backyards that don’t have the space for a large shade tree. The Dogwood tree tolerates deer, drought, clay soil, and black walnut. This native tree is the state tree of Missouri and Virginia.

Shop the White Dogwood Tree, Pink Dogwood or Red Dogwood Tree.


Eastern Redbud

Eastern Redbud

Cercis Canadensis
Growing Zones 4-9
Mature Height: 20 to 30 feet tall
Mature Width: 20 to 30 feet tall
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

This flowering backyard tree is adaptable and easy to grow. It's coated with purple blooms in early spring even before the heart-shaped leaves emerge. This native tree is perfect for small backyards or as an understory tree in larger yards. It can tolerate shade, deer, clay soil, and black walnut. The Eastern Redbud is the state tree of Oklahoma.

Buy the Eastern Redbud. Other beautiful redbud trees include the forest pansy redbud, the rising run redbud, and the ruby falls redbud.


Northern Red Oak

Northern Red Oak

Quercus rubra
Growing Zone: 3-8
Mature Height: Up to 75 feet tall
Mature Width: Up to 45 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Fall Color: Red

This gorgeous red oak is a native tree with loads to offer your landscape. The red fall display is absolutely beautiful. This durable tree feeds and houses wildlife. The Northern Red Oak tree is incredibly adaptable and easy to grow. It can handle drought, black walnut, and air pollution. It is New Jersey’s state tree and the provincial tree of Prince Edward Island.

Learn more about fast growing oak trees.

The Northern Red Oak tree can be purchased online.

Red Maple Tree

Red Maple Tree

Acer rubrum
Growing Zone: 3-9
Mature Height: Up to 60 feet tall
Mature Width: Up to 40 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Fall Color: Red

This beautiful deciduous tree is known for its phenomenal autumn display. It also has pretty red blooms in spring. It is drought tolerant and low maintenance once it is established. It tolerates wet soil, black walnut, and pollution as well. The Red Maple is an excellent backyard tree and the state tree of Rhode Island.

Shop the Red Maple Tree 

We also love these newer cultivars for better disease resistance and superb fall color:
1. Autumn Blaze Maple (few flowers and seeds)
2. Brandywine Maple (seedless selection)
3. October Glory Maple (traditional flowers and samaras)

Tulip Poplar

tulip poplar

Growing Zone: 4-9
Mature Height: Up to 70 feet tall
Mature Width: Up to 40 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Fall Color: Yellow

The Tulip Poplar tree is a great way to add color, beauty, and shade to your backyard. Also called the tuliptree, this flowering shade tree produces tulip-like flowers that are yellow with touches of orange and green. The pretty four point leaves turn golden yellow in fall. This hardy tree tolerates clay soil, wet soil, black walnut, rabbit, and deer. The Tulip Poplar is the state tree of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Find the Tulip Poplar Tree online

Weeping Willow

weeping willow tree

Salix babylonica
Growing Zone: 4-9
Mature Height: Up to 50 feet tall
Mature Width: Up to 50 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Fall Color: Yellow

You can’t talk about the best backyard trees without talking about the amazing Weeping Willow! This popular weeping tree is widely recognizable for its unique pendulous branches. I had one growing up and we had so much fun swinging from the branches and hanging out our tree house. This tree is adaptable and easy to grow. While it can handle wet conditions, it is also drought tolerant
once established. It also tolerates deer and black walnut.

Buy a Weeping Willow Tree 


If you prefer evergreen trees over shade trees, try the Thuja Green Giant, Leyland Cypress, or Emerald Green Arborvitae.

Now you know all about our favorite easy to grow trees for the backyard. Plant a tree in your backyard today and reduce your carbon footprint. We have many options here at Planting Tree to fit any landscape. Happy planting!


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