Growing shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outdoors. 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 correctly.
WA 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
All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for optimal shade. These trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best suited for your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for your enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some extra privacy.
Here are popular options:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have a large enough space, a live oak is a beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard tree recommendations get extremely big, so you need to do your 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. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too big for its location will probably have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.
Front Yard Shade Trees
In the front yard of your home, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be a lot more beneficial for adding value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.
Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overshadow your home and landscaping. These trees should pair with your landscaping in color and size, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of our favorites:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color during the fall.
Another good choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a long row with others to provide privacy as well as shade.
With this advice in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In reality, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Washington, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — there are a few that you probably wouldn’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can help regulate 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 canopies. This leads to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which could result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants, 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.
Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think 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 small children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is very easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in Washington. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult an arborist from WA Tree Trimming if you have questions about how to care for your trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your property.
Once you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your property always 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 create the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun to grow healthy.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call WA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Washington. 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 form a deep root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, 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 information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, WA Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Washington will visit your property, examine the tree and determine the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.