What are fast-growing shade trees, and what are the benefits of adding these to my yard?
Fast-growing shade trees do exactly what they say on the tin – grow fast and provide shade for your yard. Besides looking great and rather picturesque, other benefits of shade trees include reduced energy bills, increased privacy, a cooler yard during summer, and great shelter from the sun for both you, the kids, and any pets that are part of your family.
However, it doesn’t end there. Adding trees to your yard will reduce noise pollution, increase the value of your home, and have your yard looking lush and beautiful. This article will discuss everything you need to know about fast-growing trees, including the most popular varieties of shade trees, why you should plant shade them, and how these trees can reduce energy costs. Let’s begin with what shades trees grow fast.
Related: 10 Compelling reasons why you need trees.
WHAT SHADE TREES GROW FAST?
There are a wide variety of different shade trees out there, with a large percentage of the most popular varieties that grow at a rather fast rate. Because of their speedy growth patterns, these top-selling shade trees are able to quickly provide you with a cooling umbrella of greenery.
1. FICUS NITIDA (INDIAN LAUREL)
The Ficus Nitida is our number-one top-selling tree here at Moon Valley Nurseries, and for good reason! These dense evergreen shade trees are great for blocking out the sun and creating quite a bit of privacy as well. They grow to a medium to large size and accommodate any landscape style very well.
- Fast-growing dense evergreen foliage
- Great tree for privacy, screening from golf balls, and sound barriers
- Handles pruning to almost any shape and size
- Handles summer heat very well and thrives in desert environments
The Tipu is a South-American native, also called Tipuana Tipu. These unique shade trees grow to a beautiful medium to large size with tons of character. Their feathery foliage creates a softer, more relaxed look. They become decorated with a light coat of yellow flowers in the late spring, bringing with them a nice pop of color to your landscape.
- Fast-growing shade tree
- Blooms coat of golden flowers in late Spring
- Thrives in the desert heat and is very cold hardy
- Great where a high umbrella-like canopy is desired
3. MAJESTIC ASH
The Majestic Ash is a popular choice for a shady yard, due to its beautiful appearance and low maintenance needs. This fast-growing tree has huge, tropical-like leaves and gets an incredible golden color in the fall. While technically a deciduous tree, Majestic Ash trees are known to regain their foliage after dropping very quickly, in some cases, they can have a new coat of leaves in under a week!
- Grafted- NO SEEDS!
- Medium to large-sized shade tree
- Easy care and very low maintenance
- Drought Resistant once established
4. CHILEAN MESQUITE
The Chilean Mesquite is a thornless mesquite variety that has become very popular around the Southwest. It's deep green textured foliage, dark-colored bark, fast growth rate, and interesting twisting trunk pattern have this southwestern staple a treasured favorite.
- Extremely durable specimens custom grown for Western climates
- Mesquite bark is famous for use in barbeque cooking
- Thornless variety great for any landscape
- Dark, textured trunk contrasts well with bright green foliage
5. TRUE GREEN ELM
Finally, we have the True Green Elm. This fast grower has a speckled trunk and tight, dense textured foliage. Popular amongst many southwestern homeowners, this elm variety works in a number of landscape styles, and is also commonly used to line driveways, property borders, and to create raised privacy hedges.
- excellent choice for wide, umbrella-shaped shade.
- Dark green, attractive textured foliage
- Fast-spreading canopy, providing shade even at early ages
- Loves growing in full sun and hot areas
HOW CAN SHADE TREES HELP WITH MY ENERGY SAVINGS?
As previously discussed, shade trees can contribute to increased energy savings.
Because of the increased shade in your yard, and your trees soaking up much of the heat that could hit your home, this results in a reduced need for air conditioning. You’re probably thinking "that’s great, but what about winter?" Glad you asked! Winter is no different. Semi-evergreen and deciduous shade trees, in particular, allow the sun to shine through during the colder months, warming your house up.
We recommend a mix of both fast-growing evergreen trees and deciduous shade trees for an optimal experience, increasing energy savings and improving the value of your home.
HOW TALL DO YOU NEED A SHADE TREE?
The majority of single-story houses range from eighteen to twenty-foot peak height. So, anything above twenty feet tall will provide optimal shade for your yard, cutting electricity costs, and allowing a cool place for the dog to lay or children to play – all without picking up a nasty sunburn.
We also have specimen trees ready to be planted for an instant twenty-foot shade canopy, we can't think of a better way to start the summer!
To view our choice of specimen trees, click here.
WHY PLANT SHADE TREES?
There are various reasons to plant shade trees, whether you live in a particularly hot area and would like to cool down the yard, want to create a play area for both kids and pets out of the sun, or want to increase privacy and block out the neighbors.
WHERE TO BUY SHADE TREES?
So, you’ve sold me… but where can I buy shade trees? Moon Valley Nurseries has some of the best shade trees around, following strict growing guidelines and all our trees are sourced from only our best mother trees.
WHEN AND HOW TO PRUNE SHADE TREES?
Once you’ve acquired some fast-growing shade trees, it’s important to take care of these to increase their life span and to promote healthy growth. Many people seem to think both pruning and trimming a tree is the same thing. However, this is not the case.
Trimming is an overall clean-up of the tree, cutting away branches and leaves that are getting slightly out of hand.
Pruning, however, is more concerned with the structure of the tree, removing branches and various other limbs of the tree to keep it up-right and growing healthily.
Generally, pruning a tree involves the following steps:
- Assessing the tree (look at both the height and the width)
- Identify the major branches
- Removing damaged branches and cutting areas with thick branches
- Pruning branches to help shape the tree, promoting healthy growth
Pruning tools include:
- Pruning shears
- Hedge shears
- Pole puncher
For more information on how to look after your trees, including pruning click here.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Adding fast-growing shade trees to your yard increases shade, provides a safe place out of the sun for both pets and kids to play, may increase the value of your home, and will reduce electricity costs.
To view our selection of fast-growing shade trees, please click here.
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