Having shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best location for a backyard BBQ 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 of tree and care for them properly.
AR 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
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for optimal shade. These trees typically have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about 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 front or back yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can provide 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 enough 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 is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard shade tree suggestions get pretty large, so you need to do a little research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.
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 from being overgrown. A tree that is too big for its area 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 they will be much more impactful for increasing curb appeal and value to your home than the back yard trees.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in color and size, while still creating lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of the shade trees AR Tree Trimming recommends:
These trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color during the fall.
Another good 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 create privacy and shade.
With options in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Arkansas, they will provide your home and landscaping with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade n your yard are numerous — and there are a few that you probably wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you won’t need to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can help regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can 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 lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants, so there is cleaner air around your house. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
Safety for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think 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 want a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is very easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in Arkansas. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, requiring little attention or care.
Consult a local arborist from AR Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your shade trees, or to help you determine the perfect tree for your property.
After you have decided on the best shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your yard always get the most sun, so plant your new trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will create the ideal 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 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 AR Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Arkansas. 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 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 for caring for a shade tree, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.
We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, AR Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Arkansas will visit your property, assess the tree and formulate the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.