Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the perfect 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 all of the benefits of shade trees, you need to plant the right species of tree and care for them properly.
OK Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they continue to grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for the best shade. These trees often have a thick, wide canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.
In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending 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 your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.
Here are popular choices:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have enough space, a live oak is another great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree recommendations get pretty large, so you definitely want to do a little research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.
If there is not enough room, its root system can damage 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 cut down, which is an unfortunate 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 much more impactful for adding value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.
Choose shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in size and color, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of the shade trees OK Tree Trimming recommends:
These species trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color in the fall months.
Another good option 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 these suggestions in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Oklahoma, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — and there are a few that you likely wouldn’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t have to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder underneath their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove 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 out of the air.
Shelter for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can give them all they need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree house or tire swing? 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 easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in Oklahoma. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.
Consult an arborist from OK Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or even to help you determine the best 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 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 most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call OK Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Oklahoma. 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 stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other type of tree in order to promote growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, 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 information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, OK Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Oklahoma will visit your home, assess the tree and formulate the proper maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.