Best Shade Trees Around Pools

Is it a good idea to plant trees around your swimming pool?

Do they help functionally, aesthetically, or both?

What makes a tree a good or bad fit for poolside purposes?

What are some of the best trees for poolside use?

If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you’re probably looking for ways to provide shade around this space. Although there are several choices you can go for, trees are one of the most classic. If you choose the right tree, it is perfectly safe to plant trees next to your pool.

Trees can provide a lot of aesthetic appeal alongside your pool. They also offer plenty of functional benefits and encourage natural shade while helping give a little back to the environment at the same time.

Some trees may have very large root systems that make them a bad fit for poolside use. Others may have foliage or branches that are difficult to remove from pool water or pool filters, or they might have leaves that are toxic. However, there are plenty of trees that can work well for your pool spaces, too.

In the article below, you’ll find out more information about some of the best trees for use by your pool. Each of these trees can provide lots of shade and comfort while adding plenty to your landscape in terms of aesthetic appeal too. Take your time checking out the list to find the right fit.

Read on to find the best shade trees around pools.

1. Banana Tree

Scientific name: Musa spp.

This tree has a long, thin trunk and large, open leaves. The leaves grow in bright yellow-green shades.

Growing Conditions: At least 75 degrees Fahrenheit


  • Can easily be grown indoors or outside
  • Once full-size, provides plenty of shade


  • Difficult to produce actual fruit

2. Citrus Tree

Scientific name: Citrus spp.

Citrus trees come in a variety of types, including orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and more. Each type of citrus tree is a bit different from the last.

Growing Conditions: Wide range of temperatures from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit


  • Tolerant of many growing conditions
  • Grow large enough to provide lots of shade


  • Difficult to produce actual fruit

3. Crepe Myrtle

Scientific name: Lagerstroemia spp.

This tree or shrub grows dark green foliage and bright pink to red flowers. It can be kept low to the ground as a bush or encouraged to grow tall like a tree.

Growing Conditions: Bright, full sunlight


  • Easy to prune and care for
  • Grows flowers well in sunlight


  • Requires acidic soil to grow and thrive properly

4. Floss Silk

Scientific name: Ceiba speciosa

This tree grows very tall and large with bright pink flowers against dark green foliage. It has a thick trunk that provides plenty of stability for the plant.

Growing Conditions: Full to partial sunlight


  • Easy to grow from a transplant in spring or summer
  • Large and beautiful tree that can easily shade a pool


  • Requires some irrigation or frequent watering except in winter

5. Fruitless Olive

Scientific name: Olea europaea

This tree has a rich, deep brown trunk and grows branches up and out from its central core. Its leaves are dark to medium green, and the tree can eventually create a large canopy of shade.

Growing Conditions: Full sunlight


  • Easy to grow in a variety of soil conditions
  • Blooms with delicate white flowers


  • Slow growing after it is planted or transplanted

6. Hinoki Cypress

Scientific name: Chamaecyparis obtusa

This tree grows short to medium in height and has rich deep green foliage. It is a full, wide tree that adds a lot of visual weight to your spaces.

Growing Conditions: Loamy soil


  • Capable of growing in full sun and partial shade
  • Adds a unique and interesting element to the poolside space


  • Does not handle being transplanted

7. Holly

Scientific name: Ilex spp.

This classic tree has small deep green leaves that are slightly sharp on the points. It grows clusters of red berries and is frequently used in holiday decorations.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to partial shade


  • Tolerant of a variety of watering conditions
  • Tolerant of various soils


  • May not grow berries without full sunlight

8. Japanese Maple

Scientific name: Acer palmatum

This tree grows with a thin dark brown trunk that branches into several other sections from the central base. It has distinct rich red leaves in the traditional shape of a maple leaf.

Growing Conditions: Partial shade


  • This plant handles a variety of conditions well
  • The plant can grow large to provide lots of shade


  • If grown in too much sunlight, the colors may not be very vivid

9. Magnolia Grandiflora

Scientific name: Magnolia grandiflora

This tree has large, dark green leaves with a waxy appearance. It grows big white blooms that open up into stunning displays under the right conditions.

Growing Conditions: Well-draining soil


  • Blooms beautifully in bright sunlight
  • Can grow in partial shade


  • May not flower without the right soil and light conditions

10. Palm Tree

Scientific name: Arecaceae spp.

Palm trees have large, thick central trunks and do not grow foliage or branches up to the top of the tree. They have large fronds of leaves that hang down from the top of the trunk.

Growing Conditions: Partial shade


  • Grows well in many soil conditions
  • Can flower year-round in the right conditions


  • Although it can grow very tall, the palm tree may not provide much shade

11. Palo Verde

Scientific name: Parkisonia spp.

This stunning tree grows thin branches from a central trunk section. It features yellow to yellow-green foliage and can provide plenty of shade when it grows to its full size.

Growing Conditions: Bright, full sunlight


  • Drought tolerant
  • Can grow in a variety of soil types


  • Requires extremely well-draining soil to prevent root rot


As you can see, there are many great solutions when you’re looking for trees you can plant next to your pool. Some of them may provide more shade than others, but they can all help you create the perfect poolside space for you and your family to enjoy together.

Of course, there are some types of trees that may not work as well next to your pool. What are some trees that are a bad fit for poolside purposes? Here are a few to consider avoiding:

  • Elm: Elm trees can lead to damage under the ground, since they have very large root systems. Planting them near your pool may cause structural damage to the pool over time.
  • Eucalyptus: Like elm trees, eucalyptus trees also have large root systems that can quickly damage pools. Eucalyptus leaves are also toxic, so you probably don’t want them floating in your pool water!
  • Pine: Pine trees also have large root systems that can cause trouble for your pool. Additionally, pine needs will fall into your pool water, and they can be difficult to remove as easily as more traditional types of leaves and foliage.

By keeping this information in mind, you’ll be well on your way to picking the perfect trees for your landscaping and lawn. Choose from the list above and enjoy the results when you plant shade trees near your pool!