Need Re-Leaf From the Summer Heat? Shade Trees Get to the Root of the Problem

Green Home

Shade trees are one of the most cost-effective and beautiful ways to reduce solar heat gain in your home and reduce energy costs. And springtime is a great time to plant them.

By planting large deciduous trees near your home, you’ll experience window shading in the first year. In the long term, depending on the species and your home, it will shade the roof in 5-10 years.

Never plant a tree underneath power lines or on top of underground utilities.  Small maturing trees need to be planted at least 20 feet away, medium trees at least 30 feet away and large trees at least 40 feet away from the outermost powerline.

OK. But which trees do I plant?

When choosing the right trees, there are a number of things to consider. Trees are commonly rated as slow, medium and fast growers. These factors are dependent on soil type, available sunlight and water and the care the trees receive. Unfortunately, many of the fast-growing trees are “weak-wooded” and don’t stand up to Oklahoma wind and ice storms as well as others.

However, some fast growers work well. They include October glory and Caddo red maples, arborvitae, river birch, dawn redwood, tulip tree, Nuttall oak and lacebark elm. The Caddo maple is native to Oklahoma and is one of the most heat- and drought-resistant maples available.

Other good choices include water oak, Shumard oak, sawtooth oak, common hackberry, Japanese zelkova, Kentucky coffeetree and Chinese pistache.

Click here for more tips and information about shade tree planting, varieties and lots more. And soon you’ll have it made in the shade!