Having shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a large shade tree is the perfect location for a backyard barbeque or for children to play outside. A shade tree will also keep your home cooler when temperatures rise.
To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you have to plant the correct species and care for them properly.
MI 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 continue to grow healthy and strong.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for optimal shade. These trees usually have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending 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 your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby probably won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be planted purely for your enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.
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 a great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
A lot of these back yard shade tree suggestions get extremely big, 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 destroy 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 big for its location will most likely 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 they will be much more impactful for increasing value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.
Purchase 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 size and color, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of the shade trees MI Tree Trimming recommends:
These species trees are colorful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase 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 to create privacy as well as shade.
With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In truth, any type of tree can be a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the climate in Michigan, they will provide your home and landscaping with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — there are some that you maybe wouldn’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you won’t need to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and relax outside as long as you like.
Climate Control – Trees can help regulate the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective canopies. This results in less solar radiation on your home as well, which might result in lowering your energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutants, so there is cleaner 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 chipmunks are adorable, your trees can provide them all they need to build a home, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t love 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 very easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the weather in Michigan. Trees are strong and durable after a couple of years, requiring little attention or maintenance.
Consult an arborist from MI Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your shade trees, or to help you select the best tree for your property.
After you have chosen the perfect shade tree(s), follow this care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your yard get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these areas of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will provide the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it develop a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call MI Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Michigan. 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 more stability in the long run.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to aid growth. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the source of your shade.
We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, MI Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Michigan will visit your property, assess the tree and formulate the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.