This week, we answer, “What are the best trees for shade?”

Why you should plant shade trees?

Stately shade trees provide relief from blistering Cincinnati summers, beautifies your landscape, and will reduce your energy bill. 

Shade trees reduce your energy bill

By strategically planting your chosen tree in the right location to block the summer sun, you reduce the energy used to cool your home. 

How to find the right tree

When purchasing a shade tree, you want to do your research or ask an expert. You want to choose a tree that will thrive in your soil type and receive the proper sun exposure. 

We believe research should be made simple. On Natorp’s tree nursery, we grow 30,000 trees each year. Our tree experts are always available to answer your tree questions. You can stop or email or click here to search our tree library.

Top 7 Best Shade Trees

Green Vase Zelkova

Zelkova a shade tree in Cincinnati, OhioA popular, rapidly growing variety with a compact, vase-shaped form, and arching branches. The elm-like foliage turns a showy bronze-red to yellow in fall. It makes a beautiful shade tree, and that is very tolerant of urban conditions.  



White Oak

White Oak in Cincinnati,OhioAn attractive slower growing native oak with deep green foliage and deep red to coppery brown fall color. Prized for its disease resistance and drought tolerance. It is also adaptable to many soil conditions. 


Redpointe® Red Maple

Redpointe Maple Tree in Cincinnati, OhioA vigorous growing maple with a compact form, attractive pyramidal shape, and reliable red fall color. It is a beautiful tree from spring through fall with excellent heat, disease, and insect resistance.

Allee Lacebark Elm

Allee Lacebark Elm in Cincinnati, OhioA fast-growing, tough, durable tree sure to grace any landscape. The beautiful upright and arching form is accentuated by exfoliating bark in shades of gray with orangey-brown. Also, it has excellent disease resistance.

Autumn Gold Ginkgo

Gingkgo Tree in Cincinnati, OhioAutumn Gold is a symmetrical, broad, rounded tree with excellent fall color. It is easy to grow and tolerant of tough urban conditions and challenging sites. It is a non-fruiting variety that makes an attractive street tree or lawn specimen.


Black Gum

Black Gum Tree in Cincinnati, OhioA beautiful native tree with outstanding lustrous green foliage that changes for a fabulous fall display. It prefers deep, moist, well-drained soils, but is adaptable to other soils. Use as a lawn specimen or combine in mixed tree plantings.


Our tree nursery grows over 30,000 trees each year, Click here to find the right tree for your landscape.

Have questions? Email our tree experts