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Best Shade Trees & Why We Love Them

September 15, 2013 2 min read

Properly placed shade trees provide a multitude of benefits. Including reducing air conditioning costs, protecting deck-wood from sun exposure, and best of all they may even improve property value! But before you go shopping for the right one, consider a few basic factors…

Don’t necessarily go for the super fast growers. Weeping Willows and Silver Maples grow quickly, but this renders their wood weak and often susceptible to pests.

Will your new tree have profuse flowers or seeds that will blanket your area, fill your gutters, and stain your patio? If so, you may need to seek a different kind of tree that won’t leave you in the shade with a headache.

Large Shade Trees to Love…

The Burr Oak could be considered the ‘Grand Daddy’ of all shade trees! Wide spread branches can stretch up to 100’ feet and exude an imposing presence. They need sun and space, and most of all they need time. You may have to wait decades to see this slow growing, majestic beauty radiate its magnificence the way they did when they graced open prairies in years past. But consider planting one anyway. Future generations of humans and wildlife will thank you!

Red Oaks are a bit smaller and grow more quickly than Burr Oaks. Brilliant fall foliage and its ability to tolerate poor conditions make it a dynamic shade tree for urban areas.

Sugar Maples are slower growing than many other maples, but will get very large up to 100’ tall. They also have strong wood and gorgeous fall color, for a stable and attractive addition to your yard.

Silver Lindens tolerance for pollution makes it a good choice for city dwellers. The leaves have a silver sheen on the underside that gives them a beautiful character all their own.

Medium Shade Trees to Love…

The Katsura Tree is a unique and underutilized tree. Constantly changing foliage will supply your landscape with gorgeous color and interest throughout the growing season.

Red Buds are a popular and native species that bloom brightly in spring. They usually grow quickly and do rather well close to a house or deck. Shedding flowers may make a temporary small mess early on, but its heart shaped leaves will provide a delicate dappled shade all summer long.

Green Ash can be found nearly everywhere in the continental Untied States. Fast growing and hardy, this is a suburban yard staple and a golden beauty come autumn.

Most Dogwoods grow to 25’ with a variety of blooming colors and are popular choices for smaller spaces. The Giant Dogwood can grow to 40’ if you desire something a little larger. These provide white blooms in spring followed by red and black berries in fall.

Make sure to check your local hardiness zone before falling in love with a shade tree. Once planted, proper fertilization and minimal pruning will also help your new landscape addition thrive.

Eventually, there will be little to do but sit back under its refreshing canopy and enjoy!

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