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Close up shot of green leaves
Beat the heat on sunny days with these shade trees you can grow at home.

Spring has sprung

With the weather warming up and the garden beginning to flower into full bloom, why not add a shade tree or two into the mix to provide much-needed respite from the sun? We’ve rounded up four of some of New Zealand’s best shade trees to keep you sheltered under vibrant canopies especially in the height of summer, and some will even have you harvesting some fruits. Take a look at planting the ‘Luisa’ plum tree, Flowering Cherry ‘Awanui’, Silk tree, and Totoki tree and learn about the optimal conditions for them to thrive with our gardening tips and advice.

‘Luisa’ plum

As well as providing welcome shade from the sun during the summer months, this popular fruit tree produces crops of sweet, juicy yellow plums. It is mostly self-fertile, meaning you don’t have to plant another plum nearby for pollination. Bare branches in winter are followed by pretty white blossoms in spring, making this a stunning addition to your yard.

Flowering cherry ‘Awanui’

Pale pink flowers make ornamental cherry Prunus x yedoensis ‘Awanui’ a welcome spring sight and feature tree for any backyard. Plant in a sheltered spot of your garden or outdoor space for prolonged spring flowering. By summer, this shade tree’s branches are covered in vibrant green leaves that turn yellow and orange in autumn.

(Prunus x yedoensis ‘Awanui’) Has a spreading habit that weeps (grows down) with age. Grows up to 6m tall and 8m wide.

 Awanui Yoshino cherry tree in blossom

Silk tree

This graceful-looking shade tree has lacey fern-like foliage on arching branches that grow into a wide canopy. In summer it produces striking rose pink powder-puff flowers above the leaves. It is tolerant of drought and frost but prefers to be planted in full sun in well-drained soil.  

(Albizia julibrissin) This deciduous living sun umbrella can reach 5m high and 4m wide in just 10 years, making it a relatively fast-growing choice of shade tree for home gardens.

Fluffy, pink, flower heads cover the tree with a long summer bloom.

Tītoki

Glossy green foliage and a bushy spreading canopy make this indigenous New Zealand tree a handsome option for sitting under on a balmy summer day. It will also attract fruit-eating native birds when the bronze-red flowers transform into ripe berries in summer. It likes well-draining soil and a full sun or part shade location. 

(Alectryon excelsus) Tītoki can grow up to 8m tall and 3m wide but can be easily pruned to a smaller height.

Close up shot of green leaves of a Titoki tree

Looking for more planting inspiration?

Tree-t yourself to our extensive range of plants at Bunnings. 


Photo Credit: eg. Alamy, Getty Images
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.