Shade trees help to cool off the garden and nearby home, especially during summer when the temperatures soar and the sun blazes. Grown for shade, these trees oftentimes have pendulous, spreading branches that create a cool canopy below. When planted along a backyard patio or porch, they provide a spot for enjoying the outdoors but without the scorching temperatures. Effective at enhancing the landscape while reducing heat around the home, shade trees are essential trees to plant.
Cedar of Lebanon
Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) is a slow-growing shade tree with medium texture and spreading branches. When young, cedar of Lebanon takes on a pyramidal shape and matures to a flat-topped and cascading form. Growing 40 to 60 feet tall and 30 to 50 feet wide, cedar of Lebanon creates a commanding landscape presence. As an evergreen, cedar of Lebanon retains its green color and needles all year long. The dark green to black foliage grows up to 1-1/2 inches long. The purple to brown cones grow 3 to 5 inches long. Cold-hardy, cedar of Lebanon requires full sun only and well-drained, moist soil. The USDA Hardiness zones for planting are 5 to 7.
Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a slow-growing evergreen tree with pendulous branches, perfect for creating a bit of cool shade to the landscape below. Growing 30 to 80 feet tall and 15 to 30 feet wide, eastern hemlock is an ideal tree to grow for a makeshift screen or privacy barrier in a backyard landscape. The green and glossy needles grow less than 1 inch long and are fine in texture. Eastern hemlock trees require full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moist soil that is cool. The zones for planting are 3 to 7.
Black walnut (Juglans nigra) is a slow-growing deciduous tree with masses of open, spreading branches that create shade below. Growing 50 to 70 feet tall and wide, black walnut trees have compound leaves that are made up of 15 to 23 leaflets. Drought-tolerant, black walnut trees are prized for their durable wood, which is used to make furniture. The nuts on black walnut trees are contained within a round, black shell that, when cracked open, produces two halves, each containing the black walnut. Black walnut trees require full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The zones for planting are 4 to 9.