Shade trees offer many benefits to your property. They're attractive, and they can produce blooms and fruit. Of course, the main attraction of a shade tree is the shade it provides on hot summer days. According to the Chicago Tribune, the air under a tree can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding air. If you don't have a shade tree, consider using the following tips to select one for your yard.
Decide between Deciduous and Evergreen Trees
Both deciduous and evergreen trees provide shade. Deciduous trees provide the best shade in the summer because of their wide canopies. They usually feature more space underneath for seating, too. However, evergreen trees offer shade all year round. So, your choice will depend on when you need the shade and whether you want to sit under the tree.
Research Trees that Grow Well in Your Area
Even once you've settled on a deciduous or evergreen tree, you'll still have a plethora of tree species from which to choose. Naturally, you'll want your new tree to thrive. Research which trees grow well in your area. You can look around the neighborhood for trees that are thriving. Consider also talking to a tree care company or horticulturist for advice on tree species.
Consider Fast-Growing Trees
With many trees, you're facing the long game in acquiring your shade. However, some trees grow faster than others, so you can get that canopy or evergreen column faster. Below are some fast-growing deciduous trees:
- Hybrid poplar
- Sawtooth oak
- Pin oak
- Silver maple
Below are some fast-growing evergreens:
- Norway spruce
- Green giant arborvitae
- Eastern white pine
- Leyland cypress
Make sure you consult with a tree nursery or landscaping company to ensure your property is suitable for your chosen tree. Even fast-growing trees have specific soil and water requirements.
Look at Trees that Provide Color
As noted, trees can provide beauty in addition to shade. Consider looking into trees that provide some color in your landscape. They usually provide color with blossoms and/or fall foliage. Dogwood and cherry trees are classic choices for beautiful blossoms. Oak, aspen, and maple trees provide gorgeous fall foliage. Crab apple trees offer the best of both worlds as well as pretty fruit.
Weigh Maintenance Against Appearance
A shade tree might provide something besides shade and beauty — work. Deciduous trees, especially those that blossom and produce fruit, also provide a lot of debris. They're beautiful until you have to rake around them. If you prefer a low-maintenance shade tree, look at evergreens. Hornbeam trees are also low-maintenance because they keep their leaves through the winter.
Choose a tree that matches your shade and maintenance preferences.