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5 Oregon Trees That Require Little Sun

We can all agree how wonderful it is to wake up to trees in your backyard. They enhance the aesthetics, purify the air, provide shade, and foster a healthy environment. However, choosing which trees to grow is a critical decision and needs to be well thought through. After all, merely liking how a tree looks is not enough reason to plant it in your garden.

Choosing which trees to grow depends on a variety of factors, ranging from the space available and maintenance requirements to the environmental conditions, such as the soil, temperature, rainfall, and sunlight the location is subjected to.

Well, Oregonians can rejoice because the state’s diverse geography makes it home to a large variety of trees and plants. While western Oregon has trees such as red alder, hemlock, and bigleaf maple, which grow in moist conditions, eastern Oregon trees include ponderosa pine, western juniper, and grand fir, which thrive in drier conditions.

So if your backyard receives less sunlight and you’re wondering which trees you can possibly plant, here are five Oregon trees that require little sun and that are sure to flourish in your space:

Apart from soil, temperature, and rainfall patterns, another important aspect that affects tree growth is sunlight. It’s a well-known fact that trees need sunlight to grow and flourish. Being a crucial element in photosynthesis, sunlight is a source of nutrition for trees. However, different species have different light requirements and are categorized as follows:

  • Full shade—trees that require limited sunlight
  • Partial shade—trees that require only 3 to 6 hours of sunlight per day
  • Light shade—trees that grow when subjected to indirect sunlight filtered through another tree’s leaves
  • Part sun—trees that require part sun and part shade
  • Full sun—trees that require at least 6 hours of sunlight or more per day to grow

So if your backyard receives less sunlight and you’re wondering which trees you can possibly plant, here are five Oregon trees that require little sun and that are sure to flourish in your space:

Bigleaf Maple

This deciduous tree has large leaves and is found throughout western Oregon. Be it dry sites or moist areas, bigleaf maple grows across a variety of soil conditions and temperatures. It’s a shade-tolerant tree and doesn’t require much sunlight.

This spreading tree grows up to 120 feet tall and requires a considerable amount of space while offering shade under its burgeoning canopy. The tree is known for its unmissable five-fingered massive leaves, which grow up to 12 inches across.

If you plan to grow bigleaf maple, remember to regularly prune it by removing dead and weakened branches in order to ensure healthy growth and increased lifespan.

Oregon Ash

A native tree, this one grows well in moist and loose soil conditions. It’s easy to grow and reaches up to 80 feet in height. Oregon ash is characterized by short crowns with small branches and moderately shallow, wide-spreading roots. This tree thrives in humid summers and wet winters and doesn’t require much sun.

Similar to bigleaf maple, Oregon ash can be identified by the unique structure of its leaves, which are elliptical in shape and are compound with five to nine leaflets per leaf. They are relatively easy to grow and maintain.

Western Redcedar

Talking about trees that require little sun, western redcedar is another. It is undoubtedly one of the favorite choices for homeowners, owing to its beautiful exterior, aromatic leaves, and decay-resistant wood.
This long-lived tree grows best in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist soil conditions and cooler temperatures. Considering they grow up to 120 feet tall and 60 feet wide, they do require a large, uninterrupted space to flourish. These evergreen-scaled leaves give out a strong aroma and are tightly packed.

After planting, it’s important to take good care of these trees in the initial few months by regular watering and using nutrient-based fertilizers. Once established, these sturdy trees require minimal maintenance.

Pacific Dogwood

Known for its beautiful white flowers, the Pacific dogwood promises to lighten up your garden. It grows in moist, well-drained soils and is a common sight in western Oregon. Being a shade-tolerant tree, it doesn’t require much sunlight and grows up to 30 to 50 feet tall.

Pacific dogwood has deep-green oval leaves and gives rise to small, pretty flowers in spring. During fall and winter, the flowers are often replaced by orange or red fruits.

Planning to grow Pacific dogwood in your yard? Make sure to plant it such that the trunk is shaded from the sun.

California Hazel

A deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree, California hazel is found on elevations and is known to withstand harsh winters. They thrive in full shade and moist, well-drained acidic soils.

A mature California hazel tree is 10 to 20 feet tall. It is generally characterized by a straight stem and velvety, round leaves.

It’s a good idea to plant this tree in spring or fall so that it grows in mild temperatures and moist soil conditions. California hazel grows well with a lot of other tree species, such as Oregon white oak, cascara, and Oregon ash, among others.

This tree needs to be watered regularly in the first two years, after which it gets easier to maintain.

Even though sunlight is an essential component for the growth and survival of trees, the amount of sunlight needed differs from species to species. While some need complete exposure to sunlight for proper growth, there are trees that require little sun too. Hence, it’s important to consider this factor while growing trees in your backyard.

Choosing the appropriate trees to plant can be overwhelming. If you’re confused about where to begin, you must turn to tree service experts who can guide you in picking the perfect trees that will thrive in your yard, based on the environmental conditions.

At Mr. Tree, not only can we assist you in deciding which trees you can grow, but we also offer comprehensive tree care services, such as pruning, trimming, shaping, and tree removal. So contact us today and let our professional and certified arborists help you with your tree care needs.