Gardens and Outdoors Plants

The 15 Best Heat Tolerant Trees

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Trees are often planted for providing shade but not all of them are suitable to withstand the scorching heat in hot climate areas. If you want to hide from the blazing sun more effectively, it’s essential to choose a tree that’s heat tolerant. Even particularly oppressive environments shouldn’t pose issues to trees that are adapted to thrive in high-heat conditions. Many of the following trees also show off other great characteristics such as solid drought tolerance. Select one long-lasting heat tolerant tree from this list if you wish to improve the landscape in hot climates.

1. Northern Catalpa

If you’re looking for solid heat tolerance, the Northern catalpa tree won’t disappoint. This showy tree can be an attractive addition for any gardeners located in USDA zones 4 to 8. There are multiple benefits to growing Northern catalpa trees. They can deliver generous shade with the help of their dense foliage and twisting branches. Another landscape advantage is the appearance as this type of catalpa tree can enhance the aesthetics of many areas like public parks or yards.

The Northern catalpa is considered a heat-tolerant tree that can also face prolonged dry spells. Full sun exposure works best for this tree but it can perform nicely in partial shade as well. Eye-catching bean-like seed pods are produced by this tree. Although it takes around 7 years for the tree to develop flowers, the good news is that Northern catalpas tend to grow at a very fast rate. It’s not unheard of for this tree to grow more than 24 inches tall in one year. Keep in mind that a Northern catalpa may not be ideal for some regions due to its overall messy habit.

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus trees grow very fast and are generally heat-loving trees. They’re native to Australia but lots of species can be grown in your yard. As long as you live in hardiness areas 7 to 9, you should be able to enjoy the beautiful look of a eucalyptus. The tree is easily able to keep growing during periods of intense heat or extended dry spells. One of the main reasons why people like growing eucalyptus is due to its interesting bark. Other details such as the foliage and fragrance make the tree worth growing.

Depending on the variety, some eucalyptus trees can grow really tall up to 180 feet or more. Among the most popular types of eucalyptus trees, we can count the gum tree and Silver-Dollar tree. There’s no complicated process to grow a eucalyptus tree. The essential thing to remember is to ensure that these trees can benefit from full sun exposure. Eucalyptus trees can thrive in different types of soils but they can’t grow in the shade. Lots of species can handle potted environments without problems.

3. Canary Island Pine Tree

Hardy for almost all zones, pine trees are some of the best options to try if you’re searching for great heat tolerance. There are various types of pine trees that can bring that long-lasting familiar scent to the landscape. One variety that’s particularly well adapted to hot climates is the Canary Island pine tree. It’s commonly found in various parts of the western US. This pine tree species can reach tall heights of up to 80 feet in a relatively short time due to its fast growth rate.

The evergreen will delight you with its dark green needles and oval cones. It’s recommended as a street tree and can be used in lawns. The Canary Island variety grows in that characteristic pyramidal shape of pine trees. There’s also great wildlife value when it comes to this tree as it can attract woodpeckers and invertebrates. Plant the Canary Island pine tree in full unfiltered sunlight. You don’t need to worry about soil needs as long as there’s good drainage.

4. Poplar

Poplar trees are highly appreciated for their ability to grow fast and adapt to different conditions quite easily. Most types are heat tolerant but we recommend opting for a hybrid variety if you wish to plant a poplar to provide shade. This is because hybrid poplars will usually have a larger spread and grow at an accelerated rate as well. The downside of this tree is that it usually has strong roots to anchor their trunks. You have to be careful when choosing the planting spot to avoid disrupting sewer lines or damaging house foundations.

White and eastern poplar varieties are commonly planted for providing shade. They can reach heights of more than 100 feet. Choose a Lombardy poplar if you prefer a pyramid shape. Caring for either natural or hybrid poplar trees doesn’t involve a lot of effort. Once it gets properly established in a good spot with full sun and fertile soil, the poplar can reach its maximum growth potential. Just remember to give the tree adequate room to fully develop.

5. Acacia

Whereas other trees can quickly get damaged by intense heat, acacias appear to thrive in such conditions instead. This is a more exotic choice for many gardeners but it’s not that difficult to grow acacia trees in your yard. They’re actually commonly found in the southwestern US and other regions with warm climates such as Mexico. Acacias are quickly able to adapt to different landscapes but they can only be grown successfully in USDA planting zones 9 to 11.

In terms of benefits for your yard, this heat-tolerant tree won’t disappoint. It grows surprisingly fast and the tree’s extensive network of roots is strong enough to stabilize areas affected by soil erosion. Acacias can look quite beautiful, especially when in full bloom as they show off pretty pale yellow flowers. The tree has sharp thorns that protect it from animal pests. One downside to keep in mind is that an acacia tree doesn’t typically live very long. Some of the most popular varieties of acacia trees include the Bailey acacia, Koa, and Texas acacia.

6. Hackberry

Known for its low maintenance and colorful drupes that attract wildlife, the hackberry tree is another excellent heat tolerant tree to consider. This is a hardy tree that can withstand lots of difficult growing conditions such as drought and urban pollution. The growing range from zones 3 to 9 makes the hackberry suitable for various locations. Another important benefit is the tree’s fast growth rate. A mature hackberry tree can get up to 50 feet tall so it’s not exactly massive in height but the large spread gives it an eye-catching appearance.

The tree can tolerate heat and drought well but it’s hardy enough to face flooding as well. Hackberry’s purple fruits are valuable for many wildlife animals like winter birds. Due to the fact that this tree resembles the elm tree in many regards, it has sometimes been considered its lesser-known cousin. Hackberries deserve some more attention when you take into account all their benefits and reliable toughness overall.

7. Eastern Red Cedar Tree

Many evergreen cedar trees can work well in regions affected by strong heat. This may come as a surprise to people that usually associate these trees with images of snow and reindeer. Cedar trees are capable of growing successfully in USDA zones 2 to 9. For overall heat and drought tolerance, the eastern red cedar remains one of the best choices. This hardy tree can be found in its natural environment in eastern US areas. It shows a distinctive pyramid shape that’s well designed against strong winds.

Eastern red cedar trees bear bluish-green fruits that are considered attractive for wild birds. The wood has that specific cedar aroma which can also be experienced when crushing the fruits. You can grow this type of cedar tree in your yard without too many difficulties. Select a sunny spot where the tree can reach its mature size of up to 50 feet. Considering the good tolerance of salt and different soil conditions, the eastern red cedar is a solid heat tolerant tree.

8. Bur Oak

Oaks are excellent heat-tolerant trees and they offer lots of benefits for any yard. They tend to establish quickly and provide an imposing look. There are different types of oaks that can be considered hardy for hot climates. One of the best you can try is the mighty bur oak. This species can reach heights of around 80 feet. Coupled with a similarly-sized spread and a massive trunk, the bur oak can easily become the focal point in the landscape. This tree features multiple toughness characteristics.

Aside from its decent heat tolerance, the tree can be considered quite resistant to drought and pollution. For these reasons, bur oaks are preferred options for urban environments. You can count on these trees to adapt in different living conditions but bur oaks perform best in full sun. By planting the tree in a sunny area, you will be able to take advantage of its ability to deliver great shade. Similar to other oaks, the bur variety produces distinctive fruits called acorns. Wildlife value them while landscapers appreciate the tree’s potential to enhance the look of parks and large yards.

9. Green Ash Tree

The ash tree is a great choice in terms of ornamental appeal and hardiness. Trees of this type can reach a maximum of 100 feet in height while having very minimal care requirements. Their sprawling branches offer great shade. It’s a good idea to plant ash trees together to benefit from more reliable sun protection as they can create a domed canopy effect. A recommended variety to try is the green ash which can be found in urban landscapes in the US.

The green ash tree grows fast and can face difficult soil conditions. American elms decimated by Dutch elm disease have been replaced with this type of ash tree. While this is a fairly tough tree, it can still be susceptible to some dangerous diseases spread by the emerald ash borer. Full sun exposure works best for the green ash. There’s some decent wildlife value for this heat-tolerant tree. It’s also beneficial for its high-quality wood that can be used to craft oars and canoe paddles.

10. Coast Redwood Tree

If you prefer heat-tolerant evergreens, choosing a redwood tree represents a smart solution. These are fast-growing trees that can be often planted in home gardens or used in commercial applications. One of the most appreciated in its native environment is the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). This species is known for having some of the tallest trees in the world. Some specimens can grow up to 380 feet tall with massive trunks. This type of redwood can also live very long.

There are plenty of advantages to growing the coast redwood. The tree is able to withstand flooding very well but it requires a lot of soil space to grow as expected. One of the main visual highlights of the tree is the bark that develops a vibrant orange color in mature trees. Growing coast redwoods beyond California and Northwest US can be done but it’s usually more difficult. It won’t have the same fast-growing rate and it’s considered a novelty specimen.

11. Arizona Cypress

Cypress trees can tolerate heat quite effectively. Most varieties of this evergreen tree can withstand periods of drought as well. If you’re looking for a great type of cypress tree, the Cupressus arizonica could be a great choice. It’s commonly known as the Arizona cypress due to its native location. There are lots of advantages to growing this tree despite the relatively limited growing range. The Arizona cypress can only develop as expected within hardiness zones 7-9.

Aside from being able to tolerate hot and dry conditions, this cypress tree has solid ornamental potential. It looks quite similar to a Christmas tree with its pyramidal shape. The needles of the Arizona cypress tree are soft and aromatic. Another interesting feature is the production of dark reddish-brown cones that persist on the tree for a long time. Squirrels enjoy the seeds of the Arizona cypress tree. While it works great as a landscape ornamental, the tree is reliable as a windbreak or for erosion control.

12. Buckeye

Although buckeye trees tend to require a lot of moisture, they’re fairly heat-tolerant overall. These are distinctive trees that produce nut-like seeds with a look resembling the eye of a deer. That’s the origin of the name “buckeye”. This tree doesn’t grow very large but some species like the Ohio and yellow buckeyes can reach heights of more than 50 feet. Including a buckeye tree in your yard can be a good decision but make sure you select a spot in the back as this could be a messy tree.

The poisonous seeds of the buckeye can be germinated with some effort and used for growing a new tree. One of the most popular species of buckeye is the Ohio buckeye due to its attractive canopy and eye-catching bark. This tree is known for the beauty of its early-spring blooms and vibrant colors shown in the fall season. The main drawback of the tree is the unpleasant odor produced when it gets damaged. There’s also the considerable litter from dropping many large seeds and leaves.

13. Crape Myrtle

Crape myrtle is an excellent flowering tree that can perform well in hot, full sunspaces. It’s highly recommended to set aside a sunny area in your yard to plant this tree if you wish to enjoy the spectacular beauty of its vibrant blossoms. The crape myrtle tree is hardy to zones 7-9 and provides solid drought tolerance. Southeast US regions offer the best growing environment for it so it’s not surprising to find many trees of this kind there. Depending on the specific variety, certain crape myrtle can complete the visual impression with fragrant flowers.

These trees can be trained through pruning to grow in a more preferable shape. Crape myrtle can grow with multiple trunks but it’s usually recommended to opt for a variety that grows as single-trunk. The dimensions of this tree won’t make it stand out as crape myrtles can reach heights of 20 to 30 feet. There are different flower color varieties as some show off red, pink, or white blooms. Keep in mind that the heat and drought tolerances abilities develop only after the crape myrtle tree is fully established.

14. Silver Linden

One excellent shade tree with great heat tolerance is the silver linden. It features an attractive appearance that gives off a regal feel thanks to a combination of smooth bark and differently-colored leaves. The silver linden has dark green leaves on top while the bottom shows foliage with a silver tinge. When reaching its full growth potential, the silver linden can appear quite majestic. It blooms in the summer and creates pale yellow fragrant flowers.

Growing this tree successfully requires you to live in USDA zones 4 to 7. Thanks to the silver linden’s good pollution tolerance, it can be considered a reliable choice for urban landscaping applications. The tree grows at a medium rate and it’s versatile in terms of tolerated soil conditions. Moist soils with full sun exposure can help it thrive and reach heights of around 50 to 70 feet. The silver linden can perform nicely as a shade tree considering its dense crown. It’s also frequently used as an ornamental tree.

15. Japanese Blueberry Tree

Anyone who’s looking for a great ornamental evergreen that tolerates heat well should check out the Japanese blueberry tree. It’s a favorite for gardeners looking to add some privacy and visual interest to their yard. The tree is native to Japan and Taiwan. It doesn’t grow very tall due to being able to reach a maximum of 25 feet in height. One of the main features of the Japanese blueberry tree is the dark green foliage that keeps the area looking fresh and vibrant for a long time.

Young trees are fairly sensitive to dry conditions so they require proper moisture to develop as expected. After getting established, the Japanese blueberry offers solid resistance to both heat and drought. Considering the slow rate of growth, it’s safe to say that you’re better off purchasing a specimen from a nursery if you wish to add this evergreen to your garden. The Japanese blueberry has great ornamental potential as its dense foliage gives off a tropical vibe while the overall shape resembles a Christmas tree.

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