Growing shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard BBQ or for kids to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.
To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you have to plant the right species of tree and care for them correctly.
FL 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 continue to grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for the best shade. These types of trees often have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best suited for your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are typically for your own benefit. 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 provide year-round color and some additional privacy.
Here are popular options:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have the space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. A mature live oak can 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 need to do your 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 destroy your fencing or home. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is 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, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be much more impactful for increasing value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.
Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in size and color, while still providing lots of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of our favorites:
These types of trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll display 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 create privacy as well as shade.
With this advice in mind, we recommend that you plant what you like. In reality, any tree can be a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Florida, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade n your yard are numerous — there are some that you maybe wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you won’t need 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 want.
Climate Control – Trees can regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler underneath their protective canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your home as well, which should also result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants from the air, 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’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can provide them all they need to build a habitat, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is simple as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the climate in Florida. Trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, demanding little attention or care.
Consult a local arborist from FL Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you select the perfect tree for your yard.
As soon as you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your yard always get the most sun, so plant your new trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will provide the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call FL Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Florida. 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 more 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 support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, but it can help your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the source of your shade.
We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, FL Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Florida will visit your home, assess the tree and formulate the proper care plan for its long-term growth and health.