Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard BBQ or for kids to spend time outside. 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 right species and care for them properly.
TN Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as 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 species that are built for optimal shade. These types of trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that extends 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 planted in your back or front 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 be able to see these trees very much, so they can be purely for your enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can create year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are a few popular choices:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have the space, a live oak is a great choice. Live oaks are considered 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 up to 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard shade tree recommendations get very large, so you definitely want to do your 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 damage your fencing or home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too big 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 a lot more impactful for adding 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. These trees should pair with your landscaping in both size and color, while still offering lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of the shade trees TN Tree Trimming recommends:
These species trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color in the fall months.
Another great option 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 options in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In truth, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Tennessee, they will provide your home and landscaping with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade for your home are numerous — and there are some that you maybe don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only do trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in more affordable energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove 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.
Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think chipmunks are cute, your trees can provide them all they will need to build a home, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tree fort 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 simple as long as you’ve planted the right species for the climate in Tennessee. Healthy trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, requiring little attention or care.
Consult an arborist from TN Tree Trimming if you have questions about how to care for your shade trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your yard.
After you have determined the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this 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 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 maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call TN Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Tennessee. 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 helps them form a deep root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to promote 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 blog post was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, TN Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Tennessee will visit your home, assess the tree and determine the best maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.