Planting shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outside. It 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 correct species and care for them properly.
GA Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they continue to grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for optimal shade. These 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 based 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 probably won’t be able to see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are popular options:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have the space, a live oak is a beautiful choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree recommendations get extremely large, so you need to do some 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 destroy your fencing or even your home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too big for its area will probably 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 they will be much more beneficial for increasing value and curb appeal 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 color and size, while still offering plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent 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 create privacy as well as shade.
With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In all honesty, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Georgia, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade on your property are numerous — and there are a few that you maybe wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get very warm, you won’t have to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can help regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder underneath their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your home as well, which could result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants, so there is healthier air around your house. Arbor Day Foundation research states that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.
Safety for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can provide them all they need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and countless 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 Georgia. Healthy trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult a certified arborist from GA Tree Trimming if you have questions about how to care for your trees, or to help you decide the perfect tree for your yard.
As soon as you have decided on the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your property 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.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Trim 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 GA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Georgia. 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 more stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, 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 comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, GA Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Georgia will visit your home, assess the tree and decide the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.