Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard BBQ or for children to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the right species and care for them properly.
MO Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for the best shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees based 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 probably won’t see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can create 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 the space, a live oak is a fantastic choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. A mature live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely big, so you need to do your research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.
If there is not enough room, the tree’s root system can damage your fencing or home. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that grows too big for its yard will most likely have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes costly 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 than the back yard trees.
Choose shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overshadow your home and landscaping. These trees should pair with your landscaping in both color and size, while still offering 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 display even more color in the fall months.
Another great option 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 this advice in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In truth, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Missouri, 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 — there are a few that you likely don’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you won’t have to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under 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 home. Not only do trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their canopies. This results in 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 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’re into bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your trees can give them all they will need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is very easy as long as you’ve planted the right species for the weather in Missouri. Healthy trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or maintenance.
Consult an arborist from MO Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or to help you decide the best tree for your home.
Once you have determined the best shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is well established.
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 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 in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call MO Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Missouri. 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 helps them form a deep root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other type of tree in order to aid healthy 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 trim or prune a new shade tree, MO Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Missouri will visit your property, assess the tree and determine the proper care plan for its long-term growth and health.