Best Trees to Plant for Shade

Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbecue or for kids to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you have to plant the right species of tree and care for them correctly.

AL Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and 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 maximum shade. These trees usually have a thick, wider canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.

In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees based 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. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees very much, so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.

Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy.

Here are a few popular choices:

  • Magnolia
  • Sugar maple or silver maple
  • Weeping willow
  • Weeping cherry
  • Red oak

If you have a large enough space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very large. A mature live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

A lot of these back yard shade tree recommendations get very large, 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, its root system can damage your fencing or home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too large 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 of your home, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but they will be much more impactful for increasing curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.

Choose shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overshadow your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in both size and color, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.

These are some of the shade trees AL Tree Trimming recommends:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another great 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 this advice in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In truth, any tree can be a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in STATE, 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 — there are a few that you likely don’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures {soar|get too hot, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.

Climate Control – Trees can regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler underneath their protective canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lowering your energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants, so there is healthier air surrounding your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports 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 provide them all they will need to build a habitat, find nearby food and raise babies.

Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and countless memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is very simple as long as you’ve planted the right species for the weather in Alabama. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, requiring little attention or care.

Consult a local arborist from AL Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your shade trees, or to help you decide the perfect tree for your yard.

As soon as you have chosen the best shade tree(s), follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The east, west and south sides of your property get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then create the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Prune during the first year or two after you first plant the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call AL Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Alabama. 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 in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to aid growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the source of your shade.

We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, AL Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Alabama will visit your home, assess the tree and lay out the best maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.