Having shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a big shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard barbeque or for children 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 correctly.
NM 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
All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for the best shade. These trees typically have a thick, wider canopy that extends out nearly 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 back or front yard.
Back Yard Shade Trees
Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Next-door neighbors and passersby probably won’t see these trees very much, so they can be purely for shade and enjoyment.
In addition to shade, these trees can provide year-round color as well as some extra privacy from neighbors.
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 considered the fastest growing shade trees, and are able to get very big. A mature live oak is able to reach up to 80 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide.
Many of these back yard tree suggestions get extremely big, so you definitely want to do your research to find out if the tree is going to 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 manageable. A tree that grows too big for its area will probably have to be removed, which is an inconvenient and sometimes costly situation.
Front Yard Shade Trees
In the front yard, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but they will be a lot more impactful for adding curb appeal and value 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 complement your landscaping in size and color, while still offering plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.
These are some of our favorites:
These trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll showcase even more color in the fall months.
Another great choice for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This tree looks like a hedge and can be planted in a long row to provide privacy and shade.
With options in mind, we encourage you to plant trees you like. In all honesty, any tree can be a “shade tree.” Assuming the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in New Mexico, they will provide your yard and home with some shade.
Benefits of Planting Shade Trees
The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — there are a few that you maybe wouldn’t automatically think about.
Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t have to hide indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Put a chair or hammock under your best shade tree and relax outside as long as you want.
Climate Control – Trees can help control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only will trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler under their canopies. This translates to less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lower energy costs!
Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and filter out pollutantsfrom the air, so there is healthier air surrounding 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 shade trees can give them all they need to build a habitat, find nearby food and raise babies.
Fun – What child doesn’t want a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees will offer hours of fun and joyful 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 climate in New Mexico. Healthy trees are strong and hardy after a couple of years, demanding little attention or maintenance.
Consult a local arborist from NM Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or to help you select the perfect tree for your home.
After you have determined the best shade tree(s) for your yard, follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is fully grown.
Planting Your Shade Tree
The south, west and east 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 create the ideal amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the most amount of sun for healthy growth.
Pruning Your Shade Tree
Prune during the first year or two after planting the tree to help to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call NM Tree Trimming for tree trimming in New Mexico. 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 root system and will give the tree stability over the course of its lifetime.
Fertilizing Your Shade Tree
Fertilize a shade tree just like you would any other tree in order to support healthy growth. Fertilizer is not necessary for caring for a shade tree, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and produce more leaves, which are the source of your shade.
We hope this blog post was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, NM Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in New Mexico will visit your home, examine the tree and lay out the best maintenance plan for its long-term growth and health.