I am looking for the right trees to provide shade in summer but without blocking much light in winter, so deciduous. I’m Surrey just north of Redhill Common in a dip. We have heavy soil on top of clay and sand. It gets waterlogged in winter and can dry out in summer but we do water regularly. The side of our semi detached house faces south, so we get morning sun to the rear and afternoon sun to the front. Last summer it was too hot so we’re looking to nature for shade. We don’t want much mess except leaves, so no fruit trees. We need to avoid sticky sap or polen as well. A broad leaf deciduous tree, reasonably hardy and fast growing, roots going deep rather than horizontally would be good. We would like branches eventually to start at about 2m above ground, height 6m width up to 8m. Any suggestions welcome. I think this should be a good alternative to air conditioning and blinds or awnings. Hopefully others will find this helpful when facing hot summer weather as we are told to expect more frequently.

  • Too bad you have so many criteria. I was going to suggest a "mulberry" but it is a fruit tree. They are attractive, grow rapidly, and don't block much sun in winter. The fruit are quite good, if you can get them before the song birds do. But, they might seem too messy for you. – user22542 Feb 25 at 14:50
  • Most people think of maples as good shade trees, but I think the large leaves pose a huge mess in the fall. – user22542 Feb 25 at 14:52
  • What's the maximum distance from the house you can plant a tree down the side of your house? I'm assuming by Surrey and Redhill Common you're talking about the UK... – Bamboo Feb 25 at 16:25
  • I would look at Platanus × acerifolia, the London plane, London planetree, or hybrid plane. Broad leafed - check. Deciduous - check. Grow anywhere - check. Can handle a bit of waterlogging - check. And blocks very little sun in the winter when leaves are down. – That Idiot Feb 25 at 21:05
  • Thanks for all these thoughts. A plane tree may become too big for our little site. We have neighbours opposite with a Magnolia we like, and another with an ornamental cherry that seems to keep its blossoms for weeks. We plan to approach the owner of the cherry for its particulars. I will post what we find out. Many thanks to all. John. – John Taylor Feb 26 at 21:42

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