Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to spend time 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 correct species of tree and care for them correctly.
RI Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some types of trees that are built for the best shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided some 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 typically for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are popular choices:
- 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 they can get very large. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard shade tree suggestions get very large, so you definitely want to do your research to determine 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 even your home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that is too large for its yard will most likely 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 beneficial for adding value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.
Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overshadow 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 species trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent option for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a row with others to provide privacy and shade.
With this advice in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In all honesty, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Rhode Island, 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 — and there are some that you likely don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler underneath their canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in more affordable energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants, so there is healthier air around your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.
Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can provide them all they will need to build a home, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree fort or tire swing? If you have small children, shade trees will provide hours of fun and countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is very simple as long as you’ve planted the type of trees for the climate in Rhode Island. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult a local arborist from RI Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your shade trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your home.
Once you have determined the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your yard get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will create the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call RI Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Rhode Island. 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 form a deep and strong 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 the same way you would any other tree in order to support growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, 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 is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, RI Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Rhode Island will visit your property, examine the tree and lay out the proper care plan for its long-term growth and health.