Planting shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outdoors. It 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.
LA Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for maximum 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 based on whether they would be best planted in your front or back 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 be able to see these trees very much, so they can be purely for your enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are a few popular choices:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have enough space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very large. An older live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree recommendations get very big, so you need to do your research to determine if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.
If there is not enough room, the tree’s 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 large for its location will most likely have to be removed, which is an unfortunate 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 than the back yard trees.
Choose shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overshadow your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in both size and color, while still creating lots of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of the shade trees LA Tree Trimming recommends:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another great 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 to create privacy as well as shade.
With options in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Louisiana, they will provide your home and landscaping with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — there are some that you probably don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you won’t need to hide indoors if you have a nice, 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 control 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 translates to less solar radiation on your home as well, which could result in more affordable energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out 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 enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, your trees can give them all they need to build a home, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have small children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is simple as long as you’ve planted the right species for the weather in Louisiana. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, needing little attention or care.
Consult an arborist from LA Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or even to help you determine the perfect tree for your home.
As soon as you have determined the best shade tree(s), follow this care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your yard 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 maximum 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 planting the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call LA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Louisiana. 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 will help them develop a deep root system and will give the tree 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 promote healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, 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 trim or prune a new shade tree, LA Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Louisiana will visit your property, assess the tree and determine the proper care plan for its long-term health and growth.