Planting shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outside. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you have to plant the correct species of tree and care for them correctly.
NJ Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on caring for your shade trees so they continue to 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 types of trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
In the following parapgraphs, we’ve provided 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 typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to 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 a large enough space, a live oak is another great choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard shade tree recommendations get pretty large, so you definitely want to do some research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.
If there is not enough room, its root system can destroy your fencing or home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too big for its location will probably have to be removed, 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 they will be much more beneficial for increasing curb appeal and value to your home than the back yard trees.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in color and size, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of our favorites:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent option 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 provide privacy and shade.
With this advice in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In all honesty, any tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in New Jersey, they will provide your home and landscaping 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 soar, you won’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can control 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 means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants, so there is healthier air around your home. 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 will need to build a shelter, 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 simple as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in New Jersey. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult a certified arborist from NJ Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you determine the perfect tree for your property.
As soon as you have chosen the best shade tree(s), follow this simple 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 areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then provide the ideal 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 planting the tree to help to shape it and help it form a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call NJ Tree Trimming for tree trimming in New Jersey. 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 develop a deep root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to aid growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can assist in helping 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 is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, NJ Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in New Jersey will visit your home, examine the tree and lay out the best maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.