Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best place for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you have to plant the correct species of tree and care for them correctly.
PA 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 continue to grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for optimal shade. These trees usually have a thick, wider canopy that reaches out nearly as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best planted in your front or back yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees very much, 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 enough space, a live oak is a beautiful choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. A mature live oak is able to reach up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree recommendations get very big, so you need to do some research to determine 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 need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too big for its yard 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 these trees will be a lot more beneficial for adding curb appeal and value to your home than the back yard trees.
Choose shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in size and color, while still offering lots of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of the shade trees PA Tree Trimming recommends:
These types of trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent 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 options in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In truth, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Pennsylvania, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade for your home are numerous — and there are a few that you likely don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you won’t need to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your best shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder below their canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which could result in more affordable energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove pollutants from the air, so there is healthier air around your house. 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 cute, your shade trees can give them all they need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have small children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is pretty simple as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the climate in Pennsylvania. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, requiring little attention or care.
Consult a local arborist from PA Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or even to help you determine the best tree for your property.
After you have decided on the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your yard get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then create the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after you first plant the tree to help to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call PA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Pennsylvania. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.
Watering Your Shade Tree
Watering a new tree is very important. This will help them develop a deep root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to aid growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.
We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, PA Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Pennsylvania will visit your home, examine the tree and decide the best care plan for its long-term growth and health.