Having shade trees in your yard has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the perfect 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 the full benefit of shade trees, you need to plant the right species of tree and care for them correctly.
CO 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 types of trees that are built for optimal shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that reaches out about as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided some examples of shade trees based 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 the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some additional privacy.
Here are a few popular options:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have enough space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are said to be the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very large. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard tree recommendations get very 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, the tree’s root system can damage your fencing or even your home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it manageable. A tree that grows too large for its location will probably have to be removed, which is an unfortunate 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 impactful for adding value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overshadow your home. These trees should pair with your landscaping in both size and color, while still providing lots of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of the shade trees CO Tree Trimming recommends:
These types of trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color during the fall.
Another excellent choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree 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 trees you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” so long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Colorado, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The benefits of having shade on your property are numerous — there are some that you maybe wouldn’t typically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t need to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your best shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from the hot sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in more affordable energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and expel pollutants, so there is healthier air around your house. Arbor Day Foundation research states that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
Shelter for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your trees can provide them all they will need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t love a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees will provide hours of fun and countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is simple as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the weather in Colorado. Healthy trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, needing little attention or care.
Consult a local arborist from CO Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your trees, or even to help you select the best tree for your home.
After you have determined the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your property always get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will create the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun to grow healthy.
Pruning 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 CO Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Colorado. 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
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to support 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 comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, CO Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Colorado will visit your home, assess the tree and determine the proper care plan for its long-term health and growth.