6 Best Shade Trees to Plant in Maryland

Looking to add a little more shade to your property? Studies show that strategically placed shade trees can reduce your electricity bill 25% during hot summer months. Over the course of seasons and years, the cost savings will accrue into thousands of dollars. If you’d like to plant trees to increase shade, there are several factors to consider when making a selection: size, speed of growth, maintenance requirements, aesthetics, and potential for pests and disease. 


Here are some of the best shade trees to plant in Maryland along with noteworthy points for each.



  • Large (heights exceed 50’) varieties include Chestnut, Northern Red, Pin, Swamp White, White
  • Fast growing; will produce shade within 5 years
  • Produce acorns for ducks, pheasants, jays, woodpeckers, rabbits, foxes, squirrels and deer
  • Low maintenance, hardy, and tolerant of hot and cold weather
  • Turn colorful shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall
  • Commonly attract borer beetles, gypsy moth, web worms, and other caterpillars and beetles
  • Prone to anthracnose, blight, oak wilt, powdery mildew, root rot, and fungus among other disease



  • Large (heights exceed 40’) varieties include Red and Sugar. 
  • Fast growing; will produce shade within 5 years
  • Low maintenance, hardy, and tolerant of hot and cold weather
  • Turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall
  • Commonly attract aphids, scales, mites (producing gail makers) and other pests
  • Prone to Verticillium wilt, sapstreak, root rot, tar spot, anthracnose, powdery mildew, lichens, leaf scorch, tar spots, and other diseases


Crab Apple

  • Small (height below 35’) varieties include Golden Hornet, Harvest Gold, Snowdrift, Sugar Tyme
  • Produces flowers and fruit that support pollinators, birds and native wildlife
  • Hardy and very tolerant of a variety of and weather and setting including urban conditions
  • Long-lasting blooms in shades of white, pink and red
  • Known to attract aphids, mites, and Japanese beetles, moths, stink bugs, borer beetles and others
  • Prone to Scab, Cedar-Apple Rust, Cedar-Hawthorn Rust, and blight



  • Small (height below 35’) varieties include Kousa dogwood, Flowering dogwood, and Rutger’s Hybrid 
  • Produces fruit that supports pollinators, birds and native wildlife
  • Long lasting blooms in shades of white or pink
  • Prone to powdery mildew, Anthracnose, Cercospora & Septoria leaf spots, Leaf Scorch
  • Known to attract Dogwood borer, Dogwood Club-Gail Midge, Scales, and other pests that also attack vegetable and fruit plants


American Elm

  • Large (height above 40’), American Elms are native
  • Medium to fast growing, beautiful profile
  • Works well in urban and lawn landscapes, grows well in a variety of conditions and is pH and salt tolerant
  • Pests include elm leaf beetle, elm leaf miner, spiny elm caterpillar, spring cankerworm among other pest caterpillars
  • Prone to elm yellows, bacterial leaf scorch, bacterial wetwood, leaf disease, Dutch Elm disease, and canker diseases



  • Large (height above 60’), several native varieties are available 
  • Slower growing, requiring at least 10 years to produce nuts
  • Produce nuts for native wildlife and human consumption; wood used for smoking meats
  • Tolerant of most soil types but require good drainage; grow well in full sun and light shade
  • Known to attract pests like aphids, bark beetles, Hickory Shuckworm, Pecan Nut Casebearer, Pecan Phylloxera, and Pecan Weevil
  • Prone to Pecan Weevil, cankers, Anthracnose, Witches’ broom, Anthracnose, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and Verticillium Wilt


Have more questions? We’d be glad to answer your tree planting questions along with providing a free tree assessment of your property. Manor Tree Service is your go-to team of experts serving western Harford County and Eastern Baltimore County, MD, including Baldwin, Hydes, Fallston, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Glen Arm, and Monkton.

6 Best Shade Trees to Plant in Maryland