Planting shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the best place for a backyard barbeque or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. 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 correct species and care for them properly.
IL Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on taking care of your shade trees so they grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that extends 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 front or back yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for the homeowner’s benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees very much, so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color and some extra privacy.
Here are popular options:
- Sugar maple or silver maple
- Weeping willow
- Weeping cherry
- Red oak
If you have a large enough space, a live oak is another beautiful choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very large. An older live oak is able to grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree recommendations get pretty large, so you need to do a little research to find out if the tree will 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 home. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too big for its location will most likely 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 a lot more beneficial for increasing value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.
Buy shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overshadow your home and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in both color and size, while still creating lots of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of the shade trees IL Tree Trimming recommends:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another good choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a row with others to provide privacy and shade.
With options in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Illinois, they will provide your yard and home with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade n your yard are numerous — and there are some that you maybe don’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures get too hot, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your home. Not only do trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder below their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your home as well, which could result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants from the air, so there is healthier air surrounding your house. Arbor Day Foundation research states 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 cute, your trees can provide them all they need to build a habitat, find food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tire swing or tree house? If you have small children, shade trees can provide hours of fun and joyful memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Maintaining shade trees is easy as long as you’ve planted the right species for the weather in Illinois. Trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult a local arborist from IL Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or to help you select the best tree for your home.
After you have determined the perfect shade tree(s), follow this easy care guide until your shade tree is well established.
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 areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will then create the maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.
Trimming 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 structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call IL Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Illinois. 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 more stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other type of tree in order to promote healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, 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, IL Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Illinois will visit your property, assess the tree and determine the proper maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.