Which Trees Are Best for Shade?

November 19, 2021
November 19, 2021 Ryan McFadgen

Which Trees Are Best for Shade?

Whew! Now that summer is over, we’re enjoying some cooler and more pleasant weather. But you might already be thinking about next year’s warm season. If your yard and outdoor seating areas felt uncomfortably hot this year, perhaps you’ve considered planting some shade trees in the near future. The following options provide the relief you need from fast-growing trees that will fill out and begin to cool things off quickly.

Gingko. Gingkos can grow up to 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide, so they can definitely provide plenty of shade. But the great thing about gingkos is that they pull double duty. Aside from providing relief from the blazing sun, gingkos add unique beauty to your landscape. The leaves turn a brilliant yellow in the fall. But do look for male trees only; female trees produce a messy, smelly fruit that will add hours to your lawn upkeep.

Oaks. At up to 80 feet tall and wide, oak trees are the classic shade tree. Their leaves also turn lovely shades of gold in the fall. Since over 60 varieties of oak are available, be careful to choose one that works best for our climate here in Southern California. And remember that due to their large canopies and heavy branches, you don’t want to plant an oak tree too close to your home. That tiny sapling will become a giant someday!

Maples. Maples are another tree that pull double duty, as both an efficient shade tree and a lovely ornamental addition to your lawn. Some, such as the Japanese maple, turn bright red in the fall. Others even produce flowers. Choose a variety of maple that will grow well in our climate, and keep placement in mind. Your maple won’t branch out quite as extensively as an oak, but some species can still reach up to 70 feet tall.

And of course, remember to maintain your new tree appropriately to prevent broken limbs and disease. Give us a call to discuss proper tree trimming techniques, and we’ll help you to maintain your new shade tree.


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