Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outdoors. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.
To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you need to plant the right species and care for them correctly.
UT 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 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 the best shade. These trees usually 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 suited for your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are typically for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are popular options:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have enough space, a live oak is another beautiful choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard shade tree suggestions get pretty big, so you need to do some research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.
If there is not enough space, its root system can destroy your fencing or even your home. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too large for its location will most likely have to be removed, which is an unfortunate and sometimes costly situation.
Front Yard Shade Trees
In the front yard of your home, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but they will be much more beneficial for adding curb appeal and value 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 offering lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
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 hedge-like tree can be planted in a long row with others to provide privacy as well as shade.
With options in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Utah, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade n your yard are numerous — and there are some that you probably wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t have to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can help 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 colder under their protective canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home 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 surrounding your home. Arbor Day Foundation research states that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.
Safety for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your trees can provide them all they will need to build a shelter, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t love a backyard tree fort or tire swing? If you have small children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is pretty simple as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in Utah. Healthy trees are strong and durable after the first few years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult a certified arborist from UT Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or to help you determine the best tree for your home.
Once you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s), follow this easy 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 new trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will provide the most 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 UT Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Utah. 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 more stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, 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 trim or prune a new shade tree, UT Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Utah will visit your home, assess the tree and formulate the proper maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.