A beautiful patio is a great investment and one your family will enjoy for years to come.  But once your patio is installed, you’ll want to soften its lines, and step up the appeal by doing some landscaping around the patio.  Landscape beds are always desirable, but planting a tree can be an easy way to provide some shade and add a wonderful focal point by adding color, texture in addition to shade.

What best describes the perfect patio tree?  A patio tree should be on the smaller side, attractive, and looks good without pruning or maintenance.  Ornamental varieties that provide a little shade are a nice choice

Easy Tips for Choosing the Right Tree

Know Your Growing Space.  Be aware of how much room you will need for the tree to fill out without its growth being restricted.  And be mindful that some trees have invasive roots that eventually might break up your patio.

What Do You Want from Your Tree?   Do you want it to provide some shade or block a view?  Once you understand your goal, you’ll be able to narrow down the choices.

Understand Your Growing Conditions.   Choose a tree that is compatible to your hardiness zone.  Some trees thrive in full sun and others prefer dappled shade. 

Be Aware of Your Outdoor Space.  Some trees are neat and others are messy with their droppings of twigs, leaves, fruit, or seeds.  You want your tree to be somewhat maintenance free and have it compliment your outdoor living space rather than overpowering the space.

Be Mindful of All Seasons.  It’s great to have some summertime shade but know there will be some leaf clean up.  What will the view be like in the winter from indoors?  An evergreen tree will stay green all year and give you privacy where a deciduous tree will give you some shade.

Suggestions for Patio Trees

Japanese Maple

We love this little tree for its striking color, shape and size.  It definitely adds a visual punch to a smaller landscaped area. There are a variety of different maples that exist and each one has their own benefits for being planted.  Although it is a deciduous tree, the winter structure of the branches makes it a great focal point in a snowy landscape.  Because of so many choices, take the time to choose wisely.

Crape Myrtle

Most Crape Myrtle Trees reach a mature height of ten feet but some varieties can be much larger.  So be selective in choosing your variety.   They have large clusters of delicate, long-lasting pink, red or purple blossoms

Eastern Redbud

This tree is known for its beautiful small pinkish purple flowers which bloom profusely on bare branches in early spring before the leaves emerge.    They are usually available in a clump for or as a single trunk.

Dogwood Cornus Florida

This is a wonderful native deciduous tree that has impressive ornamental and ecological value with lovely flowers (white or pink) in the spring and red fruits in late summer, a favorite of wildlife.  Then in autumn, the foliage turns an attractive red in fall.  It’s slow growing and can grow 15 to 20 feet tall and can handle full sun to part shade. 


Serviceberry trees are graceful, moderate-size trees and you get three seasons of color, producing fragrant white flowers in spring, berries in the summer and orange, yellow and red leaves in the fall.  They grow slowly, seldom need pruning and don’t have invasive roots.


This ornamental has delightful flowers in the spring.  Magnolia shrubs can get 8 to 15 feet in height and small trees can grow up to 25 feet tall.

Additional Reading: Tips of How to Select and Properly Plant a Tree in Southeastern, PA

Read: Tips on Landscaping Around a Patio

Trees, shrubs and flowers soften up hardscaping and the area around a patio.  But choosing the right tree can be tricky because of so many cultivars within each tree family.  You want to choose a tree that has the best attributes and rate of growth for your patio.

Choosing the right tree may seem overwhelming.  We understand that homeowners do not have the expertise to get it right.  That’s where we can help. Whitehouse Landscaping has the horticultural knowledge in landscaping to make sure the right plants are chosen for the right place insuring your landscape thrives and can be properly maintained.  Our design experience can create an outdoor space that is beautiful, distinctive, livable and truly sustainable.

Contact Whitehouse Landscaping or call 484-300-4290 to learn more about our services.