Having shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best place for a backyard BBQ or for children 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 right species and care for them properly.
MA Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and 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 optimal shade. These types of trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best suited for your front or back yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for your enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color and 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 a fantastic choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. A mature live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely large, so you need to do a little research to determine if the tree will have enough space to reach maturity.
If there is not enough space, 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 is too big for its yard 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 these trees will be a lot more impactful for adding curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.
Choose 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 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 hedge-like tree 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 type of tree can be a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Massachusetts, they will provide your home and landscaping with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — there are a few that you probably wouldn’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t need to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below 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 will trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their canopies. This leads to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which might result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants from the air, so there is cleaner air surrounding your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.
Shelter for Animals – If you’re into bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are adorable, your trees can provide them all they will need to build a shelter, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t love a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have small children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is simple as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the climate in Massachusetts. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.
Consult a certified arborist from MA Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your trees, or even to help you decide the perfect tree for your property.
After you have chosen the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your property 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 provide the ideal amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.
Trimming 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 MA Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Massachusetts. 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 helps them form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other type of tree in order to promote healthy 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 information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, MA Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Massachusetts will visit your property, assess the tree and decide the proper maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.