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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Shade Tolerant Trees and Shrubs

This article was published originally on 6/24/1994
The previous issue of the Horticulture and Home Pest News contained a list of perennials that perform well in partial to heavy shade. A number of trees and shrubs can also be successfully grown in partial shade.

Trees and Shrubs Adapted to Partial Shade

Common NameScientific NameHeightComments
Five-Leaf AraliaAcanthopanax sieboldianus3-6 feetHas prickly stems, makes good barrier plant.
Serviceberry Amelanchier spp.10-25 feet White flowers in spring, good fall color.
Mentor BarberryBerberis x mentorensis3-6 feetThorny stems, excellent hedge plant. Hardiness zone 5.
American HornbeamCarpinus caroliniana20-25 feetLarge, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree.
Eastern RedbudCercis canadensis20-25 feetSmall tree that produces flowers in spring. Hardiness zone 5.
Pagoda DogwoodCornus alternifolia15-25 feetSmall, native tree with branching habit. Yellow-white flowers.
Gray DogwoodCornus racemosa8-10 feetSuckering shrub.
Common WitchhazelHamamelis virginiana12-15 feetSmall, yellow flowers and foliage in fall.
Smooth HydrangeaHydrangea arborescens3-5 feet Large flower clusters in summer.
Japanese KerriaKerria japonica3-6 feetUpright arching shrub, yellow June. Hardiness zone 5.
Russian CypressMicrobiota decussata 12 inchesLow, spreading evergreen. Foliage resembles arborvitae.
IronwoodOstrya virginiana25-40 feetSmall, slow-growing tree. Can be difficult to establish.
RhododendronRhododendron spp.VariableGood choices for Iowa include 'PMJ','Aglo,' and 'Olga Mezitt.'
Black JetbeadRhodotypos scandens4-6 feetNot showy, but a tough, durable shrub. Hardiness zone 5.
Alpine CurrantRibes alpinum3-6 feetGood hedge plant, tolerates pruning well.
SnowberrySymphoricarpos spp.3-6 feetPlants produce white, pink, or purple fruit.
Canadian HemlockTsuga canadensis40-50 feetAttractive, graceful tree. Prefers moist, well-drained soils. Dislikes hot, dry sites.
YewTaxus spp.VariableMost shade tolerant evergreen. Adapts well to pruning.
Arrowwood ViburnumViburnum dentatum6-8 feetHardy, adaptable shrub. Produces white flowers in spring and blue fruit in fall.
Blackhaw ViburnumViburnum prunifolium12-15 feetLarge, multi-stemmed shrub or small, rounded tree.
Unless noted, all of the above trees and shrubs are hardythroughout Iowa.



This article originally appeared in the June 24, 1994 issue, p. 100.

Year of Publication: 
1994
Issue: 
IC-467(16) -- June 24, 1994