Having shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the best place for a backyard BBQ or for children to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. A shade tree 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 right species and care for them correctly.
OR Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on caring for your shade trees so they grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for maximum shade. These types of trees usually have a thick, wider canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best suited for your front or back yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are typically for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can create 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 a great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. A mature live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard shade tree recommendations get extremely big, so you definitely want to do your research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.
If there is not enough room, 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 from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its area will probably have to be removed, which is an inconvenient 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 these trees will be much more beneficial for adding 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 and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in color and size, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color in the fall months.
Another good choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a row with others to create privacy as well as shade.
With this advice in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Oregon, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade for your home are numerous — there are some that you probably don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants from the air, 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.
Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can provide them all they need to build a home, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have small children, shade trees will offer 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 type of trees for the weather in Oregon. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, needing little attention or maintenance.
Consult an arborist from OR 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 yard.
Once you have decided on the perfect shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your yard get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will create the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.
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 structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call OR Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Oregon. 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 will help them form a deep root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to promote growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.
We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, OR Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Oregon will visit your home, examine the tree and formulate the proper maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.