01 Oct, 2020
5 Great Shade Trees to Plant in Your Garden
Oct 01, 2020A good shade tree not only enhances your garden’s beauty but also brings a sense of life and nature’s resplendence to your compound. Shade treesshield you from the hot summer sun and can be a source of joy toyour family; they create lasting memories, especially those that stick around for decades
There are many varieties of shade trees out there to choose from. Some are native while others are imported, but still relatively easy to grow and nurture with a bit of patience. Some examples of beautiful and fast-growing shade treesinclude the maple varieties, magnolia varieties, hybrid poplar, forest pansy, Dynamite Crape Myrtle, among others.
The below suggestions work in post areas, but you should consult an arborist near you for trees more specific to your region.
1. Maple Varieties
Maple trees are easy to grow shade trees provide excellent shade and a dash of beauty to your garden with their brightly coloured leaves.They have a bushy appearance that is also great for privacy.
There are many varieties of Maple trees to choose from with each having a distinct appearance and characteristics. Honestly, it’s hard to pick one from the other as they are all quite unique and appealing.However, the Seiryu Maple with its bright yellow autumn leaves seems like a good choice for a good garden shade. Also, try the fast-growing and equally beautiful coral bark maple.
Most Japanese maple varieties can be grown anywhere although some may require cooler temperatures and frequent pruning. Most Japanese maple varieties are ornamental and should, therefore be planted in an open place where their beauty can be fully appreciated.
2. Magnolia Varieties
These large evergreen trees have long been considered among the best shade trees in the world. There are many types of magnolia trees. The Magnolia Grandiflora is the most popular variety for large shadesfollowed closely by the Magnolia teddy bear which is perfect for low-lying shades and small gardens.
Magnolia trees can grow in any climate and have the ability to stay green and healthy even under the hot summer sun. However, you do have to take good care of them especially when they are young by ensuring that they are properly watered and get enough sun.
Magnoliavarieties aren’t exactly ornamental in terms of looks although some varieties do have shiny leaves that reflect sun rays in the hot afternoon. You can plant them anywhere there is space and probably further away from the house if you go for the tall variety.
3. Crape Myrtle
This is probably one of the best-looking garden shade trees on this list, and one that you will find splashed on garden magazines and Instagram stories. The Dynamite Crape Myrtle is a beautiful garden tree that is known for its bright-red flowers that last up to four months.
This beautiful crape tree can grow as high as 20-25 feet.Its wide thick leafy branches provide excellent shade in addition to beautifying your garden when it blooms. Despite its many appealing features, the Dynamite Crape Myrtle is surprisingly easy to take care of and does not need a lot of watering or fertilizerto stay green.
You can plant the Dynamite Crape Myrtle anywhere in your garden including near the house as its low-profile branches and height does not pose any threat. Most Dynamite Crape Myrtles are planted as showstoppers smack in the middle of lawns or lining driveways. It’s definitely a must-have if you care about looks and are also looking for a fast-growing low-maintenance shade tree.
4. Hybrid Poplar
The poplar variety is another excellent choice when it comes to shade trees. This fast-growing shade tree is native to North America and has many varieties that have been exported all over the world. They can grow quite tall and provide excellent shade due to their thickly packed leaves and branches.
There are many types of poplars with hybrids being the most available outside North America. Poplar trees can grow as tall 165 feet and have powerful roots to support their immense trunks and branches. This means they have to be grown much further away from houses as they are known to interfere with house foundations as they spread their roots.
Hybrid poplar isquite easy to growand does not need a lot of watering or fertilizer. They can thrive in most climates and require mildly moist soil. You do, however, need to prune them from time to time and get rid of termites and weeds that tend to invade theirtrunks. Most hybrid poplars are also known to shed dry leaves during hot weather. A typical hybrid poplar will grow for about 5 decades before it dies or starting losing its green leaves.
5. The Forest Pansy
This beautiful shade tree is instantly recognizable in the summer and autumn with its bright purple blooms. Its wide shape and thick leaves make it an excellent shade tree that also doubles up as an ornamental piece in your garden or loan. The forest pansy can grow as tall as 10 meters high and spreads its thin bushy branches as wide as 5 meters thus providing excellent shade.
This shade tree is best planted on mildly wet soil and needs a bit of protection from the wind. It’s however relatively easy to take care of as it does not require any kind of watering once it has grown to full size. Its thin branches and slender trunk also make it safe to grow near a house as they can’t cause much damage even if they fell off and landed on a roof. However, the forest pansy does tend to shed its flowers and leaves quite a lot in the summer which requires regular cleaning if it’s near a driveway or on a loan.
How toChoose a Garden Shade Tree
Here are some extra tips to help you choose the right shade tree for your garden.
How Big Is Your Garden?
The size of your garden will determine the type of shade tree you go for. If you have a tiny garden, then you might want to consider shorter, less intrusive shade treesthat won’t interfere with your house or other items in your garden.
You will find that most shade trees such as the Magnolia have shorter varieties. Keep in mind that tall shade trees with big trunks need a lot of root space whichmayinterfere with your house’s foundation or driveways. In contrast, large gardens can accommodate gigantic shade trees such as hybrid poplar and quaking aspen.
What Is the Soil Like?
Some shade trees will only thrive if they are planted in a certain type of soil such as clay or where the soil PH and wetness are ideal. Before you buy a shade tree, it’s important to seek professional help and see if the soil and conditions in your garden are suitable for it. A professional might be able to determine the type of soil in your garden, its PH levels and even offer some suggestions on how to alter it for your shade trees to thrive.
How Will It Blend orEnhance theSurroundings?
Sometimes it’s best if the shade trees in your garden can blend into the native ecosystem or enhance it. Don’t go too far from what is grown nearby especially if you live in a gated community or the shade tree requires cross-pollination.
All in all, shade trees are an excellent addition to your garden if they are healthy and not too intrusive to the surrounding. Remember to seek professional advicebefore you plant, prune or remove any large trees in your garden.