Having shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best location for a backyard BBQ or for kids to play 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 correct species of tree and care for them properly.
WV 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 healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These trees typically have a thick, wider 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 planted in your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for the homeowner’s benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be planted purely for your enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can create 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 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.
A lot of these back yard tree recommendations get pretty 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 room, the tree’s root system can destroy your fencing or home foundation. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that grows too big for its yard will probably have to be cut down, which is an inconvenient and sometimes costly 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.
Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overshadow your home. These trees should pair with 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 species trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color during the fall.
Another excellent choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a row to create privacy and shade.
With options in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In all honesty, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in West Virginia, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade for your home are numerous — and there are a few that you likely don’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder below their protective canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants from the air, 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 enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can provide them all they will need to build a home, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is pretty simple as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in West Virginia. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.
Consult a certified arborist from WV Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or to help you determine the perfect tree for your yard.
As soon as you have decided on the best shade tree(s), follow this simple 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 then create the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.
Pruning 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 structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call WV Tree Trimming for tree trimming in West Virginia. 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 and strong root system and will give the tree more stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to support 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 information was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, WV Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in West Virginia will visit your home, examine the tree and formulate the proper maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.