Shade trees provide a cool oasis on a sunny day, add curb appeal and help you save on energy bills. Many shade trees provide rich green color in the summer and often colorful fall foliage. When selecting shade trees for your yard, keep in mind the tree's crown can be round, oval, pyramidal, triangular or columnar. Other factors to consider are the tree's mature height and spread, as well as its growth rate. Fast-growing trees are popular because they provide shade in a hurry. Many homeowners plant a combination of fast-growing trees and slower growing trees. Popular shade trees for yards and landscapes include tulip tree, maple trees, oak trees, redbuds and elm trees.