The Best Plants and Trees for Around the Pool in Ontario

More than half of homeowners in Ontario believe that the right landscaping can significantly increase their property value, yet many overlook the impact of choosing the right trees around their pools. 

The best trees for around pools in Ontario not only boost your backyard’s eye-catching characteristics but also contribute to mental and physical health. Trees, hedges and other plants resist climate change, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

Choosing Poolside Trees in Ontario

Ontario’s native trees often prove to be the best choice for poolside landscaping. They adapt well to local climates and soil conditions, reducing the need for extensive care.

Maples and oaks, for instance, thrive in Ontario’s environment. These species not only provide ample shade but also improve the aesthetic appeal of pool areas. Of course, it’s very important to select varieties with slower growth rates to manage size and maintenance easily.

Root systems

To prevent damage to pool structures and underground plumbing, you must opt for trees with noninvasive roots. Eastern redbud and serviceberry are excellent choices in this regard. Their roots grow deep rather than spreading wide, minimizing any risk to your pool’s integrity. This characteristic makes them ideal for planting closer to pool areas without worry.

Leaf drop

To minimize cleaning efforts, it’s a life question to select trees with minimal leaf drop. Conifers such as Eastern white pine are problematic because needles and cones fall into the pool.

Deciduous trees like ginkgo biloba are a smarter option. Ginkgo trees are known for their uniform leaf drop, making cleanup more manageable during fall. Their unique fan-shaped leaves add a distinctive look to poolside landscapes.

Pool design compatibility

Depending on their compatibility with your pool design, trees can significantly enhance or detract from the overall look of your pool area.

For modern pools, consider sleek, columnar trees that echo the clean lines of contemporary design. Skyrocket junipers serve this purpose well, offering a vertical accent without overwhelming the space.

For more naturalistic designs, birch trees can create a soft, inviting atmosphere around the pool. Their peeling bark and delicate foliage add texture and movement, complementing rustic or nature-inspired pool settings.

Approved Trees for Pools

Selecting the right trees for poolside landscaping in Toronto requires careful consideration. Among the top choices, Yellowwood stands out for its robustness and beauty. This tree is celebrated for its non-invasive root system, making it ideal for planting near pools where underground pipes could be a concern.

Yellowwood also boasts a striking appearance. In spring, it produces fragrant white flowers that transform pool areas into serene oases. Its foliage turns a brilliant yellow in the fall, adding a seasonal charm to your outdoor space.

Japanese katsura

Another highly recommended species is the Japanese Katsura. Its standout feature is its salt tolerance, which is very important for trees around pools where water splashes can deposit salt on the soil and foliage. This resilience helps Katsura thrive, maintaining its health and beauty despite the challenging conditions.

The aesthetic appeal of the Japanese Katsura is undeniable. It offers unique heart-shaped leaves that change from green to vibrant yellows and oranges in autumn. The tree emits a subtle sweet scent during fall, enhancing the sensory experience of your poolside area.

Tulip tree

The Tulip Tree is another excellent choice for Toronto pool landscapes. 

Known for

  • Rapid growth;
  • Tall stature;
  • Create ample shade for hot summer days. 

This tree’s ability to adapt to different soil types adds to its appeal to homeowners. Don’t forget to prepare enough space for its growth, as it can reach significant heights and widths over time.

Aesthetic benefits

Incorporating these trees into your poolside landscape brings numerous aesthetic benefits. Their seasonal colours and unique floral displays enhance the beauty of any outdoor space, creating an inviting atmosphere for relaxation and entertainment.

These species contribute to biodiversity. Their flowers and seeds attract birds and beneficial insects, adding another layer of interest to your garden.

Plants for Pool Landscaping

Japanese Maples stand out as an excellent choice for poolside landscaping in Ontario. 

  • Vibrant foliage — a stunning visual contrast against the blue waters;
  • Manageable sizes — for smaller spaces around pools;
  • Not aggressive roots — good for the integrity of walkways and pool structures.

Japanese Maples require minimal attention. Their leaves are less likely to clog filters compared to other species with larger leaves.

Pee Gee Hydrangeas bring a lush, vibrant look to pool landscapes. These trees bloom with large white flowers that transition to a pinkish hue as summer fades into fall. 

They are easily shaped and maintained at a desired size, the best cause for poolside planting.

Non-invasive root systems make them safe for planting near pools without fear of underground damage.

Boxwoods offer a modern touch with their dense, evergreen foliage, which is ideal for creating front layering effects in poolside landscapes. These shrubs are trimmed into precise shapes, allowing for creative designs around pools. 

Boxwoods thrive well in Ontario’s climate and require little water once established. They serve as excellent barriers or borders without overshadowing other plants.

Avoid invasive species

Invasive species like periwinkle pose threats to local biodiversity and other plantings around pools. Their aggressive growth habits can lead to dominance over native plants and extensive root systems that may damage pool foundations and walkways. Choosing non-invasive plants protects your landscape design and supports local ecosystems.

Ornamental grasses

Ornamental grasses add texture and movement to poolside landscapes. Varieties such as Fountain Grass provide softness and interest without the hassle of constant cleaning since they don’t shed needles or leaves aggressively.

These grasses have shallow root systems, so they pose no threat to nearby structures or require significant soil disturbance for planting.

Creating Privacy with Plants

Columnar Beech Trees are excellent choices for creating privacy around pools in Ontario. Their tall, slender growth habit allows them to fit into narrower spaces, making them ideal for planting in a row along property lines or pool edges.

These trees offer dense foliage that can significantly enhance privacy from spring through fall. Once established, they require minimal maintenance, making them a practical option for busy homeowners.

Evergreen options

Juniper and False Cypress are two evergreen varieties that secure year-round privacy. Their constant greenery provides a natural barrier that is both visually appealing and effective in blocking views.

Evergreens are particularly valuable during the winter months when deciduous trees lose their leaves. They remain a steadfast screen against prying eyes, offering peace and solitude even in the coldest seasons.

Reducing Noise around Pools

Dense foliage trees and shrubs serve as excellent noise barriers. They absorb sound vibrations, significantly reducing noise pollution from the surrounding area. This makes them ideal for creating a serene poolside atmosphere.

Planting species like Eastern White Pine or Norway Spruce can help. These trees have thick branches that block noise effectively. Their height is also important in disrupting airflow, which can carry sound.

Layered planting

Layering plants of different heights creates a more effective noise buffer. This strategy involves placing tall trees in the back, medium-sized shrubs in the middle, and low-growing plants at the front.

Such an arrangement enhances the aesthetic appeal and increases the surface area for noise absorption. It’s a practical approach to minimizing sound intrusion into your tranquil pool area.

Improving Pool Aesthetics

Trees can transform the look of a pool area, adding elegance and shade. Strategic placement is also critical to avoid issues like damage to pool walls or unwanted debris. 

Flowering trees, such as the Tulip Tree, serve as excellent focal points when positioned well away from the inground pool itself. They draw the eye and contribute to a well-designed landscape without posing risks to the pool’s structure.

The beauty of these trees lies not only in their impressive height but also in their ability to bloom with vibrant flowers. Placing them in staggered rows or at strategic points around the pool can significantly boost their visual appeal.

Seasonal color

Adding colour through seasonal blooms creates a dynamic poolside environment. Trees that offer colourful flowers in spring or rich foliage in fall add layers of visual interest throughout the year. Regardless of the season, your swimming pool area remains lively and inviting.

Incorporating plants with different blooming periods can maintain an ever-changing landscape design. This keeps the poolside look fresh and engaging for everyone.

Planting Tips for Pool Areas

Proper spacing is the first thing to think about when planting trees around pools, especially in Ontario. Trees should have enough room to grow without causing overcrowding. This prevents root systems from damaging the pool structure and maintains a tidy appearance. For large species, consider planting at least 15 feet away from the pool edge. 

This distance both allows for normal growth and keeps your pool’s integrity.

Spacing also guarantees that each tree receives ample sunlight, preventing competition for resources. Overcrowded plants often struggle to thrive, leading to unnecessary maintenance issues.

Group planting

Planting in groups or layers creates a cohesive and natural look around pool areas. This technique involves selecting a variety of trees that complement each other in height, texture, and colour. For the best trees for around pools in Ontario, consider incorporating evergreens for year-round privacy and deciduous trees for seasonal colour.

Group planting not only enhances aesthetic appeal but also promotes biodiversity, attracting beneficial wildlife to your garden. It can provide natural shade areas, reducing the water temperature during hot summer days.

Sun exposure

Sun exposure plays a significant role in selecting the best trees for around pools in Ontario. Some species require full sun to flourish, others thrive in partial shade. Understanding the sunlight patterns in your pool area is essential before making any decisions.

For sunny spots, opt for drought-resistant varieties that can withstand intense heat without excessive watering. In shaded areas, select trees adapted to lower light conditions for healthy growth.

Water needs

Considering plants’ water needs is important for poolside landscaping. Choose species with similar water requirements to simplify maintenance routines. Drought-tolerant trees are particularly suitable, as they minimize the risk of overwatering and root rot.

Avoid planting species with invasive root systems near plumbing lines or filtration systems. This precaution helps prevent costly repairs and keeps your pool fully functional.

Maintenance of Poolside Trees

Proper pruning is important for poolside trees. It makes sure that they maintain a manageable size and appealing shape. Japanese Maple, for example, benefits significantly from regular trimming. 

Pruning prevents overgrowth that could overshadow the pool area.

Removing dead or diseased branches protects the tree and its surroundings. For large trees, professional help might be necessary to tackle high or complex branches safely.

Pest control

Pests and diseases can swiftly turn a lush poolside into a concern. The proximity of water increases the risk of moisture-related issues in trees. Regular monitoring is essential to catch any signs early.

Vigilance against pests is doubly important for fruit trees and flowering trees. These types often attract more insects, which could become nuisances around the pool. Implementing natural or chemical deterrents wisely can keep these problems at bay without harming the pool environment.

Soil health

The foundation of healthy poolside trees lies in their soil conditions. Mulching plays a pivotal role here. It helps retain soil moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering. It suppresses weed growth, which competes with trees for nutrients.

Choosing the right mulch is a basis. Organic options like bark chips are more durable than mulch and improve soil quality over time. Chips also add to the area’s aesthetic appeal. 

Watering practices

Despite being near a water source, poolside trees may still require additional irrigation, especially during dry spells. Deciduous trees and larger specimens have significant water needs that rainfall alone might not meet.

It’s critical to water deeply yet infrequently to encourage strong root development. Over-watering is as detrimental as under-watering, leading to shallow roots and increased vulnerability to environmental stresses.

Seasonal Considerations for Landscaping

For those in Ontario looking to improve their poolside with landscaping, selecting trees that offer year-round interest is a top choice. Evergreens provide privacy and greenery even during the coldest months

If you want to emphasize the dynamics of the changing seasons, choose trees with bright fall colours.

Trees like the Japanese Maple or certain Birch species not only survive well in full sun conditions but also bring stunning fall colours to your backyard. Your pool area remains attractive throughout the year.


Ontario’s harsh winters demand special consideration when preparing your poolside plants for the colder months. Opting for species that are tolerant of drought and adaptable to various soil types can significantly reduce winter stress on these plants.

Before the first frost hits, mulch around the base of your trees. This acts as a solar cover, insulating the soil and roots against extreme cold. Consider wrapping delicate trees in burlap to shield them from damaging winds and heavy snowfall.

Seasonal clean-up

Don’t be squeamish about maintaining a tidy pool area. It involves seasonal clean-up efforts, which are especially important in the fall when leaves begin to drop. Fallen leaves and debris not only detract from the beauty of your poolside but can also clog filters if they find their way into the water.

Implementing regular clean-up sessions during peak shedding times will keep your pool area pristine and functional. It’s a small effort that pays off and adds to the health of your pool environment.


Selecting the ideal trees and plants around your pool improves the functionality and enjoyment of your outdoor space. The right landscaping can transform your pool area into a gathering spot for friends and family.

Don’t hesitate to consult with local experts or even contact professional landscapers to help bring your vision to life. Avanti Landscaping employs landscaping techniques created to meet customer needs and strictly comply with building codes. Their expertise is invaluable for selecting and installing the perfect trees around your pool. They understand how each season impacts your landscape in Ontario’s climate. No matter if you need Richmond Hill landscaping or pool installation in Maple, Avanti Landscaping is equipped to provide the best service for all your renovation desires.

Categories: Gardening