Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the best place for a backyard barbeque or for children to spend time outdoors. 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 and care for them properly.
VT Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These types of trees often have a thick, wider canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.
In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided some 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 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.
In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color as well as some extra privacy from neighbors.
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 great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard shade tree suggestions get very big, so you need to do a little research to find out 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 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 inconvenient 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 much more beneficial for increasing curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.
Choose shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in both size and color, while still offering lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of the shade trees VT Tree Trimming recommends:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color during the fall.
Another great choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a long row to create privacy and shade.
With options in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In all honesty, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Vermont, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade on your property are numerous — and there are a few that you likely wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t have to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Set up 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 will trees protect you from hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler under their protective canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove pollutants from the air, so there is cleaner air surrounding 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 provide them all they need to build a shelter, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t want a backyard tree house or tire swing? 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 simple as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in Vermont. Trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, needing little attention or maintenance.
Consult an arborist from VT Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or to help you select the best tree for your yard.
After you have determined the perfect shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your property always get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will provide the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it form a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call VT Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Vermont. 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 develop a deep root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other type of tree in order to promote healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, but it can help your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the source of your shade.
We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, VT Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Vermont will visit your home, examine the tree and determine the best care plan for its long-term growth and health.