Growing shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best place for a backyard BBQ or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the right species of tree and care for them properly.
NY Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on caring for your shade trees so they continue to grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for optimal shade. These types of trees typically have a thick, wide canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best planted in your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some additional privacy.
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 fantastic choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. An older live oak is able to reach up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard tree recommendations get very big, so you need to do a little research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.
If there is not enough room, its root system can destroy your fencing or even your home foundation. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too big for its area will probably 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 they will be a lot more beneficial for increasing value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overshadow your home and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in both size and color, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of our favorites:
These species trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display 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 to provide privacy as well as shade.
With options in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In all honesty, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in New York, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — and there are some that you probably wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get very warm, you won’t have to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only will trees protect you from hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants, so there is cleaner air surrounding your home. Arbor Day Foundation research states that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
Shelter for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, your trees can provide them all they will need to build a shelter, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have 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 planted the type of trees for the climate in New York. Healthy trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.
Consult an arborist from NY Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you decide the perfect tree for your yard.
After you have determined the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your yard always get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then provide the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call NY Tree Trimming for tree trimming in New York. 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 will help them form 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, but it can assist in helping 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 comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, NY Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in New York will visit your home, assess the tree and determine the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.