Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many amazing benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the best location for a backyard barbeque or for kids to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.
To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you have to plant the right species and care for them properly.
KS Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, as well as 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 species that are built for optimal shade. These types of trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
Below, 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 typically for the homeowner’s benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees very much, so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can create year-round color as well as 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 another beautiful choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard shade tree recommendations get pretty large, so you definitely want to do your research to determine 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 damage your fencing or even your home. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that grows too big for its location 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 increasing curb appeal and value to your home than the back yard trees.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overpower your home and landscaping. These trees should pair with your landscaping in both size and color, while still offering plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase 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 row with others to create privacy as well as 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.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Kansas, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — and there are a few that you probably don’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your biggest shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can regulate 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 colder underneath their canopies. This means 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, so there is healthier air surrounding your house. 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 chipmunks are adorable, your trees can give them all they will 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 will offer hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is pretty simple as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in Kansas. Healthy trees are strong and durable after the first few years, demanding little attention or maintenance.
Consult an arborist from KS Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your shade trees, or to help you determine the best tree for your property.
Once you have determined the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east of your yard always get the most sun, so plant your new trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then provide the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.
Trimming Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call KS Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Kansas. 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 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 tree in order to aid healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, 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 prune or trim a new shade tree, KS Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Kansas will visit your home, examine the tree and decide the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.