Planting shade trees in your yard has many amazing benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard barbeque or for kids to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. 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 correct species of tree and care for them properly.
MT Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they grow strong and healthy.
Planting Trees for Shade
Any tree can technically provide shade, but there are some species that are built for maximum shade. These trees typically have a thick, wide canopy that extends out about as far as it does upward.
Below, we’ve provided examples of shade trees based on whether they would be best planted in your back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are typically for your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t be able to see these trees , so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
Besides just 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 a large enough space, a live oak is another fantastic choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. A mature live oak can grow up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.
Most of these back yard tree recommendations get extremely big, so you need to do your research to find out if the tree will have enough space to reach maturity.
If there is not enough room, its root system can damage your fencing or home foundation. You will also need to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its area 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 they will be much more beneficial for increasing value and curb appeal to your home than the back yard trees.
Purchase shade trees for the front yard that are somewhat smaller so they don’t overpower your home. These trees should complement your landscaping in color and size, while still creating plenty of shade for front yard play and relaxation.
These are some of the shade trees MT Tree Trimming recommends:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another excellent 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 provide privacy and shade.
With these suggestions in mind, we encourage you to plant what 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 Montana, they will provide your home and landscaping with shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — and there are some that you likely wouldn’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t need to run indoors if you have a comfortable, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock below your biggest 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 will trees protect you from the glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder under their protective 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 filter out pollutants from the air, so there is healthier air around your house. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 from the air.
Safety for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think squirrels and chipmunks are cute, your shade trees can give them all they will need to build a home, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree fort or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and countless memories.
How to Care for Shade Trees
Caring for shade trees is easy as long as you’ve chosen the right species for the climate in Montana. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, needing little attention or maintenance.
Consult a local arborist from MT Tree Trimming if you have any questions about how to care for your shade trees, or to help you select the best tree for your home.
Once you have determined the perfect shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this care guide until your shade tree is well established.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The east, west and south sides of your property 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 maximum amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun to grow healthy.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Trim during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it develop a strong structure. To be safe, and for the best results, call MT Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Montana. 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 form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Homeowners should fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other tree in order to support 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 comes time to trim or prune a new shade tree, MT Tree Trimming can help! Call us and a certified arborist in Montana will visit your home, examine the tree and decide the best maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.