Create Instant Shade For Kids & Pets

Create Instant Shade For Kids & Pets

By Garrett Cleverly on August, 18 2017

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Garrett Cleverly

Garrett Cleverly is versed in all native and non native species of plants, trees, succulents, and cacti that grow throughout the southern region. Garrett has a love for gardening and all things outdoors.


Picture the perfect backyard area for your kids and pets.  It has lush comfy green grass, a sandbox for sand castles, playground equiptment for adventures, and a giant shade tree for climbing and for shade to avoid a nasty sunburn. 

For many homeowners, the grass and the playground equiptment are the two easiest things to add. Many look at the shade tree and think "it's going to take years for a tree to grow in". Fortunately for all homeowners, Moon Valley Nurseries grows and offers the biggest shade trees in our region. We're talking trees so big they'll provide instant shade they are planted. 

They are many shade trees, but which one is the right one for your yard? Our nursery pros have taken out the guessing game and have listed some great shade trees for our region. Our pros also offer FREE PLANTING. That's right. FREE PLANTING. Let us do the digging. 

If you're looking for both giant shade and eye-catching color, the Tipuana tipu is the best on this list. The Tipu tree is one of the most popular trees we offer at Moon Valley Nursery, and it is everywhere in our city. This is a tree that you can plant and just let it do its thing. We guarantee you passed one on the way to work today. They are very fast growing trees that have an upright growth pattern creating and providing a large area with shade. These trees are also drought tolerant once established and they can handle even the hottest summer days. It produces a unique show of golden blooms from late spring and into early summer that contrasts beautifully with its feathery green foliage. If you are looking for shade and color, this is your tree. 

Majestic.pngAsh Trees
Majestic Ash | Modesto Ash | Raywood Ash | Shamel Ash | Arizona Ash | Fan Tex Ash | Berrinda Ash 
Ash trees are great sources of shade for many homes and many homeowners don't realize that Ash trees perform very well and thrive in the Valley. Another great benefit of these trees is that they will have amazing fall color and they will drop their leaves. Giving your kids and pets opportunites to jump into some leaf piles.  Even though they drop their leaves, it will allow sunlight to penetrate the gound giving you some warmth during the winters months. We have many options at Moon Valley Nurseries. Click on the names above to read more about each tree!


ficus-1.jpgIndian Laurel (Arizona and California only)
Our customers are always looking for two things. Year-round shade and minimal maintenance. Seems like you'd never find this perfect combination, but it exists and it is called the Indian Laurel, also known as the Ficus nitida. Our #1 selling tree can block out the sun or unwanted views in no time. It is a very fast growing tree with a growth pattern is tall and wide, creating a massive umbrella-shaped canopy of shade. They handle the heat very well and can be pruned to any shape. We offer three different variations of Ficus: Single-trunk, multi-trunk, and column. Because these trees are so clean, you can plant them anywhere. Even next to a pool! If you're looking for shade, this is the tree for you.

Chinese-elm-1.pngChinese Elm
Great for families, a mature Chinese Elm tree is good for climbing or attaching a tire swing. Homeowners looking for an attractive picnic tree will love this good-looking shade provider on their lawn. The mottled bark of this tree resembles camouflage-like patterns that give it a unique and attractive look. Feel free to leave a long lasting memory by engraving your initials into the single trunk. It is a fast grower that thrives in the sun and loves to grow in hot areas. Once planted, it will not be too long until you can enjoy the many benefits this tree can bring to your landscape. If you are looking for a massive shade provider that is easy to care for, you will find much to love about this Chinese Elm Tree. Moon Valley Nurseries sells vibrant and healthy, professionally nurtured mature specimens.

live-oak-6.pngLive Oak
This is another tree that requires minimal cleanup which makes it a great choice for a play area. Now you're probably thinking, 'a Southern tree in our region'? The answer is yes and the Southern Live Oak, Quercus virginiana, looks right at home planted in Southwestern landscapes. It is native to the coastal plains of the southeastern U.S and grows at a moderate rate. It is a large evergreen shade tree noted for its beauty and extreme drought tolerance. In fact, the Southern Live Oak was the lone survivor during the recent great Texas drought! Once established it will require low water, just let nature do the rest. This beauty will thrive in your landscape with full sun and little to no special care required.

privet-1.pngJapanese Privet
The Japanese Privet, Ligustrum japonicum, is a small to medium tree that can bring natural beauty to a wide range of Southwestern landscapes. Native to China, Korea and Japan, this evergreen tree is a moderate to fast grower and great for use as a privacy screen, lawn tree or as a windbreak. It will require moderate watering and will thrive with full sun exposure or partial shade. A round headed tree with a dense shade capacity, it is also a great choice when you want shade for small areas. It is good for patio planting, too. Homeowners will appreciate the versatile landscape uses of this tree.

If you're also looking for color and shade, the next two trees are fantastic choices. The Jacaranda can be found almost anywhere in our region for a reason. Their showy, blue-purple flowers in large-thick clusters is what makes this tree a popular flowering tree for just about any landscape. The Jacaranda loves the full sun and it can handle the cold as well. It's growth pattern is upright, as if it was trying to reach for the stars and the tips of its branches are where the clusters of flowers bloom. The Jacaranda has more of an open canopy creating shade to a large area where shade is desired. We offer single and multi-trunk varieties at Moon Valley Nurseries and this tree is one of the most eye-catching curb appeal trees you can plant.


Yes, Orchid trees grow in our climate and they are absolutely amazing trees that provide medium shade and attract many beneficial pollinating insects and hummingbirds! Large hand-sized flowers and rounded light green two-lobed leaves gives this tree such a unique look in any landscape. Originating from Asia, the Orchid produces massive blooms of flowers in the spring and in mature trees in the fall. These trees can also be planted to shade use and they perform great all-year long. We offer two varieties of orchid trees at Moon Valley Nurseries. The Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia blakeana) and the Purple Orchid (Bauhinia purpurea).


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