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Sacramento Shade Tree List

The following trees are available through our partnership with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The Sacramento Shade Program provides shade trees for homes and public places.

These are all deciduous trees, meaning they lose their leaves in the winter, which helps keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The trees have been selected by our Technical Advisory Committee to assure that they are suited to our climate and growing conditions. For a summary of recommendations on how far to plant each tree from sidewalks, foundations, powerlines, and more see our siting guidelines.

Large Trees

Common Name Mature Height (ft) Mature Spread (ft) Leaf Type Growth Rate
Red Maple 40'-60' 30'-50' Wide toothed, 2-1/2"-4" wide, red to yellow in fall Moderate to fast
London Plane 40'-60' 30'-50' Large, light green with 3"-5" lobes, turning dull yellow in fall, fuzzy Fast
Valley Oak* 40'-75' 50'-90' 3"-4" deep lobed leaves; Dark green turning dull yellow in fall Moderate to fast
Bur Oak 50'-80' 45'-80' Large 4"-10" long dark green lobed leaves turn yellow or brown in fall Moderate
Scarlet Oak 60'-80' 40'-50' Large, deeply lobed shiny green to 6" long, turn bright scarlet in fall, may hang on in winter Moderate
European Hackberry 40'-80' 40'-50' Sharp pointed and toothed, dark green, turn yellow in fall Moderate
Sawleaf Zelkova 50'-60' 50'-70' Pointed and toothed, dark green, turn yellow to red in fall Moderate to fast
Willow Oak 50'-80' 35'-65' Long willow like leaves, turn pale yellow in fall, some stay on in winter Moderate to fast
Red Oak 40'-70' 40'-60' Large lobed dark green leaves, turn dark red or orange in fall, may hang on through winter Moderate
Blue Oak* 40'-75' 50'-80' Small blue green rounded, light yellow in fall Slow
River Birch 30'-50' 30'-35' Doubly serrate (almost lobed), diamond shaped 1"-3" long; rich green glossy leaves above, silver below Fast
California Sycamore* 40'-90' 30'-60' 3-5 lobed, 4"-10" inches wide maple-like leaves; pubescent when young; shallow sinuses Fast
Chestnut-leaf Oak 50'-80' 40'-65' 7-1/2" x 3", oblong or narrowly oval with sharply pointed teeth; Dark glossy green above, minute gray down beneath; Fall color usually yellow Moderate to fast
Shumard Oak 40'-60' 40'-60' 3"-8" inches long, 2-1/2"-5" wide, usually deeply divided nearly to midvein into 5-9 lobes becoming broadest towards tip; May turn red later than scalet oak and lose leaves a month earlier Moderate to fast

Medium Trees

Common Name Mature Height (ft) Mature Spread (ft) Leaf Type Growth Rate
Trident Maple 20'-30' 20'-25' 3 lobed, 2"-4" long, 1-1/2"-3" wide; Dark green with fall color varying from red to orange or yellow Moderate to fast
Hedge Maple 25'-35' 25'-35' Palmate, 3-5 lobes, 2"-4" across and as long; Dark green with yellowish green or clear yellow fall color Moderate
Shantung Maple 20'-30' 20'-30' Glossy green palmate (5 lobes), 3"-5" inches long; Red orange fall color Moderate
Japanese White Birch 35' 15'-25' Green, glossy leaves to 3" long, turn yellow in fall Moderate to fast
Chinese Flame Tree 20'-40' 20'-30' 1'-2' long leaves with 2"-4" leaflets, hold onto tree until December; Turn yellowish before dropping Moderate to fast
Goldenrain Tree 20'-40' 20'-30' Green with 7-15 leaflets, turning yellow in fall Slow to moderate
Tupelo (Sour Gum) 30'-50' 15'-30' Dark green, glossy leaves 2"-5" long, late budders in spring; Hot, coppery red in fall Moderate
Chinese Pistache 30'-50' 30'-50' 10-16 paired leaflets, 2"-4" inches long by 3/4" wide; Bright green in summer; Orange, scarlet, crimson or yellow in the fall Slow to Moderate
Little Leaf Linden 30'-50' 30'-40' 1-1/2" long, smaller than American linden; teardrop shape Slow in heavy soil
'Chanticleer' Pear 30'-40' 15' Narrow medium green glossy leaves that turn red in the fall Fast
'Capital Pear' 35'-40' 12 Narrow medium green glossy leaves that turn red in the fall Fast

Small Trees

10- 15’ ’
Common NameMature Height (ft)Mature Spread (ft)Leaf TypeGrowth Rate
Eastern Redbud 20'-25' 20'-25' Heart shaped with sharp, broad point, turning yellow in fall Moderate
Chinese Fringe Tree 15'-25' 15'-25' 2"-4" long, usually oval, dark green lustrous leaves Slow
Washington Hawthorn 20'-30' 15'-25' 3-5 lobed; 4"-9" long and 5"-10" wide; Dark green lustrous above, deeply cut 2-1/2"inch leaves Moderate
Crape Myrtle 20'-25' 15'-25' Relatively small green rounded oblong leaves, sometimes turning yellow, orange or red in fall; Usually later to leaf out in spring than other trees Moderate
'Prarifire' Crabapple 15'-25' 15'-25' Red-maroon, aging to reddish green Moderate to slow
Japanese Crabapple 15'-25' 15'-25'   Moderate to slow
Japanese Snowbell 20'-30' 15'-25' 2"-4", oval to oblong Slow
Vitex or Chaste Tree 10'-15' spread to 15'-20' 4"-8" long, 2"-4" wide blue green to green leaf; No fall color change  

* Indicates NATIVE species


Click here to see our Greenprint Tree Guide (.pdf), a resource to help you pick the right tree for the right place!

All of the trees in this guide were selected by tree experts for their beauty as well as their ability to thrive in our region. They were chosen based on their suitability for our climate, disease and pest resistence, soil tolerance, maintenance requirements, water usage, branch strength and longevity.