Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outside. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.
To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you need to plant the right species and care for them properly.
CA Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for optimal shade. These trees typically have a thick, wide canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
In the following parapgraphs, we’ve provided examples of shade trees based on whether they would be best suited for your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are typically for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are popular choices:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have a large enough space, a live oak is another beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. A mature live oak is able to reach up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely large, so you definitely want to do a little research to determine if the tree will have enough space to grow to its full potential.
If there is not enough space, the tree’s root system can damage your fencing or home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its area will most likely have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.
Front Yard Shade Trees
In the front yard, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be a lot more beneficial for increasing curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in size and color, while still providing lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another great choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a long row with others to provide privacy as well as shade.
With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In all honesty, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in California, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade for your home are numerous — and there are a few that you probably wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler underneath their protective canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in more affordable energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants from the air, so there is healthier air around your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.
Safety for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think chipmunks are cute, your trees can give them all they will need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have small children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is pretty simple as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the climate in California. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or maintenance.
Consult a local arborist from CA Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your trees, or to help you determine the best tree for your property.
As soon as you have determined the best shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your property get the most sun, so plant your new trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then provide the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call CA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in California. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.
Watering Your Shade Tree
Watering a new tree is crucial. This helps them develop a deep and strong root system and will give the tree stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to aid healthy growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement for caring for a shade tree, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.
We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, CA Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in California will visit your property, examine the tree and formulate the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.