Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outside. A shade tree 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 correct species and care for them properly.
SC 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 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 usually have a thick, wider canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
Below, 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 typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some extra 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 said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely big, so you need to do some research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to grow to its full potential.
If there is not enough room, its 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 yard 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 they will be much more beneficial for adding curb appeal and value 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 pair with your landscaping in size and color, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These types of 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 with others to create privacy as well as shade.
With this advice in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in South Carolina, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade for your home are numerous — and there are some that you probably don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you like.
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 also make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler below their protective canopies. This leads to 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 expel pollutants, so there is cleaner air surrounding your house. Arbor Day Foundation research states that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can provide them all they need to build a habitat, 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 countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is pretty easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the weather in South Carolina. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.
Consult an arborist from SC Tree Trimming if you have questions about the care of your trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your yard.
As soon as you have chosen the perfect 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 property always get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then provide 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 develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call SC Tree Trimming for tree trimming in South Carolina. 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 develop a deep root system and will give the tree more 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 growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can help 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 is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, SC Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in South Carolina will visit your property, examine the tree and lay out the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.