Shade trees can beautify your yard, reduce energy costs, and improve air and water quality. Many of these large trees offer seasonal benefits, such as flowers or a change of leaf color. Choose a shade tree best suited to your climate and site (consider a native species), plant it properly, and watch it grow into a valued member of your landscape.
Extremely pest-resistant, ginkgo is the oldest tree on earth, unchanged for an estimated 200 million years. Buy only trees labeled as male; females produce messy, stinky fruit.
Botanical name: Ginkgo biloba
Size: 50-80 feet tall, variable width
Why grow it: Fan-shape leaves turn yellow in fall and drop all at once.
Tough, low-maintenance shade trees that grow nearly anywhere, hornbeams sport textured leaves that turn yellow to red, then persist through winter.
Botanical name: Carpinus caroliniana
Size: 20-40 feet tall, 30-40 feet wide
Why grow it: This shorter shade tree has beautiful ridged bark that’s most noticeable in winter. It is more heat-tolerant than European hornbeam.
Maples are everyone’s favorites for fall color. Try one of these top varieties:
Botanical name: Acer x freemanii
Size: 40-60 feet tall, 20-40 feet wide
Why grow it: This hybrid offers the strength of a red maple and the fast growth rate of a silver maple, while producing brilliant red-orange fall color.
Botanical name: Acer miyabei
Size: 40-45 feet tall, 20-25 feet wide
Why grow it: Miyabe maple is insect- and disease-resistant with golden fall foliage.
Botanical name: Acer rubrum
Size: 40-60 feet tall, 40 feet wide
Why grow it: Red maple grows in every region, is deer-resistant, and offers brilliant deep red or yellow fall color.
Botanical name: Acer saccharum
Size: 60-75 feet tall, 45 feet wide
Why grow it: Sugar maple displays gorgeous fall colors of yellow, orange, and red.
For even more shade tree ideas, please visit: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-shrubs-vines/trees/shade-trees/#page=1
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