How many of us remember growing up, lying under a shade tree with our back against the trunk, chewing on a piece of grass, reading a book or just sleeping?

In addition to great memories, trees bring beauty to all landscapes, and the right tree provides shade to your home, creating a cooling insulation from hot summer days. Evergreen or deciduous, many shade trees also have spectacular flower color, while others are better known for their foliage color or texture interest.

When planting your tree, consider how it might provide the maximum shade effect upon your home. A shade tree planted on the east side of your home will block the heat from the morning sun. Planting on the west and/or southwest side of your home shields the hot afternoon sun. And finally, a tree planted on the south side of your home can provide year-round sunblock protection. All three examples will help to keep your home cooler in the summertime.

If you select a deciduous tree, you will benefit in the winter from the opposite of the sun-shielding effect. Minus the foliage, the sun’s rays can shine through the empty branches and help you warm the inside of your home. You certainly can’t argue with that!

Along with the energy benefits, shade trees provide beauty to your landscape year-round. They offer habitats to birds, squirrels and other backyard urban creatures. Trees increase the value of our homes and the beauty of our neighborhoods. They also give back oxygen to our environment.

If you choose a deciduous tree, pick one with majestic winter form.

When you plant your shade tree, do not plant it too close to your home, patio or walls. Remember, the trees that we have mentioned all grow to heights of 30-50 feet and taller, which means they will also have a good spread and substantial root systems.

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