Top Trees for a Cool Garden Retreat

by Paul Thomas - / 14.06.2024

As the warm embrace of summer arrives, creating a shaded oasis in your garden becomes a coveted dream. Trees, the guardians of nature’s canopy, offer the perfect solution to escape the sun. In this blog, we’ll explore the best trees for shade in your garden, specifically tailored to the unique climate and landscape of the United Kingdom.

London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia)

The London Plane tree is a true urban hero and an excellent choice for providing ample shade in UK gardens. Its large, maple-like leaves form a dense canopy that casts a broad and welcoming shadow. This tree adapts well to various soil types and is relatively low-maintenance, making it a popular choice for urban and suburban areas. Not only does it shield you from the sun, but its bark also exfoliates, adding a unique visual appeal to the tree throughout the year.

Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

For those seeking an enchanting and dramatic shade tree, the Weeping Willow fits the bill perfectly. Its long, pendulous branches gracefully drape down, creating a curtain of shade beneath. This tree thrives in damp or waterlogged soils, making it an ideal choice for gardens with pond features or in areas that receive plenty of rainfall. The soothing rustle of its leaves in the breeze further enhances the peaceful ambiance of your garden retreat.

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

The Horse Chestnut tree is renowned for its stunning canopy of large, palmate leaves that offer substantial shade during hot summer days. Though famous for its conkers in autumn, it is equally cherished for its ability to create a cool and relaxing environment. With its majestic presence and beautiful seasonal transformations, the Horse Chestnut stands out as an elegant and functional addition to any garden.

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

The Silver Maple is prized for its fast growth and exceptional shade-casting capabilities. Its silvery undersides of the leaves add a touch of shimmer to the sunlight filtering through, creating a magical atmosphere. While it prefers moist soils, it can adapt to various conditions, including urban environments. The Silver Maple’s broad, spreading canopy ensures that your garden remains comfortably cool, inviting you to lounge beneath its protective shade.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

The Beech tree is a classic choice for garden shade, known for its dense foliage that provides excellent coverage. Its leaves turn a stunning golden brown in autumn, adding to the beauty of the changing seasons. Beeches generally prefer well-drained soils, and their shallow root system makes them suitable for smaller gardens. Their elegant appearance and reliable shade make them a popular choice for both traditional and contemporary garden designs.


Creating a shaded haven in your UK garden is not only a respite from the heat but also a chance to connect with nature on a deeper level. The trees mentioned above are not only experts in providing relief from the sun but also bring their own unique characteristics and seasonal transformations to enhance your garden’s allure.

When selecting a tree for shade, consider factors such as the size of your garden, the tree’s growth rate, and its compatibility with the local climate and soil conditions. Regular pruning and maintenance will ensure that your shade trees remain healthy and continue to provide the cool retreat you desire.

We can take care of all your tree needs. We will also provide you with a FREE, complimentary garden tree survey while we are there. Call us now to book.

Written by

Paul Thomas