Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best place for a backyard BBQ or for children to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the correct species and care for them correctly.
VA 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 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 types of trees typically have a thick, wide canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees depending 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 your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees , so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are popular choices:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have a large enough space, a live oak is another beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very large. A mature live oak is able to reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
A lot 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 space, its root system can damage your fencing or even your home foundation. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too big for its yard will most likely 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 a lot more beneficial for increasing curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.
Buy 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 both size and color, while still creating lots of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of the shade trees VA Tree Trimming recommends:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color in the fall months.
Another good option for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a row with others to create privacy as well as shade.
With options in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Virginia, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade on your property are numerous — and there are some that you likely don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t need 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 regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only do trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which could result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel 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 chipmunks are adorable, your trees can give them all they will need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree fort or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is easy as long as you’ve planted the right species for the climate in Virginia. Healthy trees are strong and durable after the first few years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult a certified arborist from VA Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you determine the perfect tree for your yard.
Once you have determined the best shade tree(s), follow this care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your property 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 provide the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call VA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Virginia. 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 form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to promote growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.
We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, VA Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Virginia will visit your home, assess the tree and formulate the proper care plan for its long-term growth and health.