Growing shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best place for a backyard BBQ or for kids to play outdoors. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.
To get the full benefit of shade trees, you have to plant the correct species of tree and care for them properly.
MD Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on maintaining 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 types of trees usually have a thick, wider canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided some 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 typically for your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees , 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 choices:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have the space, a live oak is another beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. An older live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree suggestions get very large, so you need to do your 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, the tree’s root system can destroy your fencing or home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too big for its location will most likely have to be cut down, which is an inconvenient and sometimes expensive situation.
Front Yard Shade Trees
In the front yard, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be much more beneficial for adding curb appeal and value to your home since they can be seen.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in color and size, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of our favorites:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll display even more color in the fall months.
Another good 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 with others to create privacy as well as shade.
With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant what you like. In all honesty, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Maryland, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade n your yard are numerous — there are some that you probably wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you won’t have to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Place a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only do trees protect you from hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your home 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 healthier 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’re into bird watching or think squirrels and 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 love a backyard tree fort or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees will provide hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in Maryland. Trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or maintenance.
Consult a certified arborist from MD Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or even to help you decide the best tree for your home.
Once you have chosen the best shade tree(s), follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your yard always 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.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after you first plant the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call MD Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Maryland. 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 form 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 tree in order to aid healthy growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can help your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the source of your shade.
We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to trim or prune a new shade tree, MD Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Maryland will visit your home, assess the tree and formulate the best care plan for its long-term health and growth.