Tree with Heart Shaped Leaves (13 Species)

The leaves of trees have the key function of photosynthesis. Roots and leaves allow trees to grow and develop. If you like ornamental trees and do not know what kind of tree to plant in your garden, I will help you choose a tree with heart shaped leaves.

There are many species of trees with heart shaped leaves, in this article, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of tree. Some trees can have very large roots and are not suitable for planting in any garden.

What Is a Tree with Heart Shaped Leaves

Heart shaped leaves, also known as cordiform or cordate-shaped leaves, are somewhat unusual and set themselves out from other oval-shaped leaves by having a broader base with a depression in the middle and a tapering tip.

These uncommon features, when present in groups, may give each tree’s canopy a distinctive attraction found nowhere else: evidence of how unique each tree is.

Tree With Heart Shaped Leaves

Next, I will name several species of trees with heart shaped leaves and explain a little about the care that these trees with heart shaped leaves need. Each tree with heart shaped leaves has different needs in terms of weather, soil, and development.

Silver Linden (Tilia tomentosa)

Silver linden (Tilia tomentosa) is a deciduous tree that can reach 115 ft (35 m) in height, with a pyramidal shape and smooth, whitish bark. It is a tree with heart shaped leaves. It multiplies by seeds, which need stratification and treatments to break the impermeability of the coverings.

Silver linden is a fairly hardy species that, although it develops better in fertile soils, tolerates various types of soils, drought, and atmospheric pollution, being it is growing faster than that other species of the genus.

You can grow silver linden in USDA zones 4 to 7, this tree prefers soils with a pH between 6 and 8. It is important to plant silver linden in a sector of the garden where it receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily for its correct development.

silver linden tree
Silver linden (Tilia tomentosa).

Henry’s Lime (Tilia henryana)

Henry’s Lime can reach 82 ft (25 m) in height, with tomentose branches that eventually become hairless. The leaves are oblique and broadly ovate, with a heart shaped base and a short acuminate apex. The leaves of this tree with heart shaped leaves are 2″ to 5″ (5-12.5 cm) long and 1.5″ to 2.7″ (3.5-7 cm) wide. The margin has scattered teeth ending in a sharp point. Flowers whitish in clusters of 20 or more flowers 4″ to 6″ (10-15 cm) long. Flower bracts of similar length, pubescent.

Tilia henryana performs very well in USDA zones 6 to 8. It prefers nutrient-rich and well-drained soils. Henry’s Lime can reach a height of up to 82 ft (25 meters).

tilia henryana tree with heart shaped leaves
Henry’s Lime (Tilia henryana).

Caucasian Lime (Tilia × europaea)

Caucasian lime is a tree with heart shaped, shiny dark green leaves. Tilia × europaea is native to Europe and Western Asia. This tree can live up to 400 years and is capable of reaching heights of up to 160 ft (50 meters).

Caucasian lime grows very well in soils with a pH of 6 to 8. This tree with heart-shaped leaves grows well in USDA zones 3 to 9. Plant the Caucasian lime in an area of the garden where it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. 

caucasian lime tree with heart shaped leaves
Caucasian Lime (Tilia × europaea).

Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

Northern catalpa is a tree with heart shaped leaves that grow very well in soils with pH between 5.5 and 7. Catalpa speciosa is an evergreen tree that grows very well in USDA zones 4 to 8. Catalpas are very appropriate trees for gardens of all sizes because of their obvious ornamental value based on their various qualities.

The trunk and branches of the catalpa have a light color, forming an irregular structure that gives it a very romantic touch. Catalpas are suitable for good fertile garden soil that does not suffer from waterlogging.

nothern catalpa tree
Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa).

Linden (Tilia)

A Linden tree is a straight-stemmed tree with a smooth bark that reaches about 65 to 130 ft (20 to 40 m) in height. It is a tree with heart shaped leaves, dark green on the upper side and bluish-green on the underside. The flowers have a yellowish color, grouped in clusters.

Linden is native to Asia, Europe, and part of North America, although it has been introduced almost everywhere in the world for cultivation. Its life cycle can reach 900 years. Linden grows very well in USDA zones 3 to 7.

linden tree flowers
Linden (Tilia).

Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

The princess tree is a very beautiful tree, originally from China. Its scientific name is Paulownia tomentosa, and it receives other common names such as empress tree or foxglove-tree. It is used as an ornamental plant and nowadays, its cultivation has spread due to its easy development. Its umbrella-shaped crown is seductive.

Paulownia tomentosa is a tree with very large heart shaped leaves. The princess tree can reach 89 ft (27 meters) in height, and its trunk can measure between 22 and 66 ft (7 and 20 meters) in diameter. Princess tree survives for 100 years and is capable of sprouting from the same trunk up to five times after being felled.

This tree develops very well in USDA zones 7 to 10 where the average minimum temperatures range from 0 to 40 °F (-18 to 4 °C). The wood of the princess tree is considered very good and is used for many different items. Musical instruments, furniture, vehicle accessories, and all kinds of handicrafts are made. Learn more about how to grow Paulownia tomentosa.

princess tree flowers and leaves
Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa).

American Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Cercis canadensis plant is a deciduous tree, commonly called American Redbud, native to North America, sapling-shaped. Deciduous, heart-shaped leaves, pale yellow in autumn. Abundant flowering clusters, fuchsia-purple in color, blooming in spring before the leaves are released. Tree to be grown as an isolated specimen or in rows.

The American redbud is a small tree that grows up to 32 ft (10 meters) high. Cercis canadensis grows well in USDA zones 4 to 9. This tree prefers acid soils and a location where it receives at least 4 hours of direct sunlight.

american redbud
American Redbud (Cercis canadensis).

Flame Thrower Redbud Tree

Flame Thrower Redbud Tree better known as Cercis canadensis ‘NC2016-2’ is a tree with heart shaped leaves that maintains its beautiful fall color from spring through autumn. This tree is ideal for gardens with little space as it only grows between 15 to 20 ft (4.5 to 6 meters).

Flamethrower Redbush Tree was developed by the University of North Carolina. In the article from the university, you can learn more about how the Cercis canadensis ‘NC2016-2’ was created.

This tree grows well in USDA zones 5 to 9. It is a tree that does not require much care and prefers acid soils although it adapts to other types of soils. For better development of Flamethrower Redbush Tree, you can apply at the beginning of spring fertilizer 5-10-5.

flame thrower redbud tree
Flame Thrower Redbud Tree better or Cercis canadensis ‘NC2016-2’.

Quaking Aspen Tree (Populus tremuloides)

The quaking aspen tree is a deciduous tree that easily exceeds 82 ft (25 meters) in height. It has a straight and thick trunk that can exceed one meter in diameter at the base. The bark, smooth and whitish, become cracked at the base over the years and acquires a dark color.

This tree with heart shaped leaves grows very well in USDA zones 1 to 6 and prefers soils with a pH of 5.5. The quaking aspen tree can live more than 60 years, although there are records of some quaking aspen trees that lived more than 100 years.

The hanging inflorescence appear before the leaves, in the months of February-March (Northern Hemisphere), while the fruit in the capsule, contains blackish seeds, very small, wrapped in a white flock, as a strategy to promote their dispersal by the wind.

quaking aspen tree with heart shaped leaves
Quaking Aspen Tree (Populus tremuloides).

Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)

Southern catalpa can grow up to 50 ft (15 meters). Because of its extended shape, it can reach up to 40 ft (12 meters) wide. Its bark is gray with reddish slits. It is a fast-evolving plant. It can develop irregular ramifications, due to bad pruning.

Catalpa bignonioides have large, heart shaped, smooth-edged, opposite leaves, up to 8″ (20 cm) long and deciduous. This tree can withstand cold and develops very well in USDA zones 5 to 9.

Southern catalpa is ideal for providing shade in the garden, especially in the lawn area, where it benefits from abundant watering. It requires a medium degree of maintenance.

southern catalpa tree
Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides).

White Mulberry (Morus alba)

Morus alba is a species of a deciduous tree with a branched, leafy stem that belongs to the Moraceae family. Known as white mulberry or simply mulberry, it is a native plant of China that is widely distributed in Asia, Southern Europe, and America.

White mulberry is a tree with heart shaped leaves and bears very tasty fruits. Mulberries are an important source of vitamin C. These trees grow no taller than 50 feet (15 meters) and develop very well in USDA zones 5 to 10.

white mulberry tree
White Mulberry (Morus alba).

Italian Alder (Alnus cordata)

The Italian alder is a species endemic to southern Italy, including Sardinia and Corsica. Alnus cordata lives from the plains up to 4200 ft (1300 meters) above sea level.

Italian alder lives well in slightly acidic or basic soils, although it prefers moderately neutral soils. Alnus cordata tolerates very poor soils very well thanks to its ability to fix nitrogen. It can live in soils with poor drainage. This tree lives in clays, silts, or sandy or loamy substrates.

italian alder tree with heart shaped leaves
Italian Alder (Alnus cordata).

Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata)

Davidia involucrata also known as the handkerchief tree or ghost tree. It is a very spectacular and original species that are cultivated in large gardens in Europe and the United States. It belongs to the Cornaceae family and was discovered by the Franciscan missionary Father Armand David. This tree is native to southern China.

It is a tree with heart shaped leaves of generous size, which can reach a crown of 82 ft (25 meters). The trunk has smooth, gray bark with branches.

The flowers are in compact clusters with reddish centers, two bracts, and white petals that resemble handkerchiefs or pigeon wings. It takes between 8 and 10 years to flower.

handkerchief tree
Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata).

Final Conclusions About Tree with Heart Shaped Leaves

As you can see, many species of trees have heart shaped leaves. If you want to plant any of these trees with heart shaped leaves in your garden, you only have to choose the right one according to your weather and soil type.

I hope that this article about a tree with heart shaped leaves will be helpful and will encourage you to have a new tree in your garden. I recommend our article about how to plant a tree.

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.