Having shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outside. It will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the correct species of tree and care for them properly.
NE 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 healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for the best shade. These types of trees usually have a thick, wider canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
In the following parapgraphs, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees based on whether they would be best suited for 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 probably won’t 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 extra privacy.
Here are a few 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 said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard tree suggestions get very large, so you need to do your 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. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its location 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 they will be a lot more impactful for increasing curb appeal and value to your home than the back yard trees.
Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in color and size, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These trees are colorful 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 hedge-like tree can be planted in a row with others to create privacy as well as shade.
With these suggestions in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In all honesty, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Nebraska, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — and there are a few that you maybe don’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you won’t need to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Place 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 home. Not only do trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home as well, which could result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove pollutantsfrom the air, so there is cleaner air around your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your trees can give them all they will need to build a habitat, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t love a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is pretty easy as long as you’ve planted the right species for the climate in Nebraska. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, needing little attention or care.
Consult a certified arborist from NE Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or even to help you determine the best tree for your yard.
Once you have determined the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your property get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will create the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun to grow healthy.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call NE Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Nebraska. 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 type of tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the source of your shade.
We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it comes time to prune or trim a new shade tree, NE Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Nebraska will visit your property, examine the tree and lay out the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.