Summer heat means high utility bills, especially in hot, desert climates. One of the most effective ways to lower your cooling costs is to shield your home against the unrelenting summer sun with strategically planted shade trees. Surrounding your home on the south and west sides with a cooling umbrella of foliage can reduce your summertime electricity use by 30 percent!
To benefit from shade trees as quickly as possible, select fast-growing species and purchase the largest, most mature trees you can find. Rest assured that you have plenty of options, depending on your personal preferences and climate. Here are some of the fastest-growing trees you can plant for shade in the summer if you live in a hot southern climate.
As the fastest-growing species of deciduous tree, Nuttall Oaks provide glorious shade for your yard all summer long. These gorgeous, quick-to-establish trees grow into a large pyramidal shape, with attractive green leaves that turn a deep crimson red in the fall.
With a Nuttall Oak on your property, you’ll instantly have the perfect picnic spot, thanks to the ample headroom beneath its sweeping branches. Plus, this species is cold-hardy, heat-resistant, and can accept most soils once established. In fact, it’s so easy to grow, you can plant it just about anywhere!
Red Maples grow at a rate of three to five feet per year, topping out at about 40 feet tall. As a result, this fast-growing deciduous tree will provide your home and yard with much-needed shade as soon as possible. It’s adaptable to all soil types, loves humidity, and is drought-tolerant once established. Not only does Red Maple supply abundant shade in the summer, but it also transforms your landscape with a splendid showing of bright red leaves in the fall.
This is one of the most recognizable deciduous trees because of its unique curtains of drooping branches that brush along the ground. A Weeping Willow will quickly grow into a large shade tree and act as a focal point on your property. Its soft, flowing branches create a peaceful, easy feeling in any yard.
While they can adapt to most soil conditions, be aware that Weeping Willows tend to thrive best when planted near bodies of water. They also prefer full to partial sun exposure. Once established, Weeping Willows have minimal watering needs.
Ficus Nitida (Indian Laurel)
The dense, evergreen foliage of the Ficus Nitida makes it one of the best medium-to-large shade trees you can find! Planted in a row along your property line, these low-branching trees can also improve privacy on your property and act as a sound barrier. Rest assured that Ficus Nitida handles summer heat very well and thrives in desert climates, offering excellent drought tolerance once established.
Also known as Kurrajong, the Australian Bottle is a hardy, evergreen shade tree with an attractive upright form and bright green leaves that enhance any property. It is small- to medium-sized and grows in a tall, narrow shape, making it a favorite for shading closed-in areas. The ultra drought resistance of the Australian bottle also makes it a popular choice in hot southern climates.
The Tipu tree is a fast-growing, medium-to-large species that offers several striking features. First, this semi-evergreen tree boasts colorful blooms that create quite the spectacle from late spring into early summer. These flowers provide abundant nectar that is sure to attract butterflies and other pollinators into your yard. Then, the fissured, golden-brown bark of the Tipu tree furthers its visual appeal.
This shade tree makes a great focal point for the front yard and provides ample shade for patios and terraces as well. You’ll enjoy picnicking under your Tipu tree while soaking up its natural beauty and relishing the shade it provides.
The deep green foliage and umbrella-like crown of the African Sumac make it an excellent shade tree for your yard. The durability and drought-resistance of this species also allow it to thrive in hot southern climates. The African Sumac takes well to pruning, so if you prefer, you can shape it into a tall hedge that makes an excellent privacy screen and windbreaker. Otherwise, this tree has minimal maintenance requirements and can live for generations.
The Sissoo tree grows so fast that you’ll notice it looks taller practically overnight! It’s quite popular for its ability to provide ample shade while requiring minimal amounts of water—perfect for desert climates. The aspen-like foliage and light-colored bark set the Sissoo apart from other fast-growing shade trees.
Chinese “True Green” Elm
The rapidly spreading canopy of the Chinese Elm makes it an excellent choice for homeowners seeking shade as quickly as possible. The speckled trunk and dense, textured foliage pair well with a variety of landscaping styles. Not only can this tree shade your home and lower your utility bills, but it can also line your driveway, serve as a property border, or create raised privacy hedges.
The “True Green” strain of elm tree doesn’t weep. In fact, it’s prized for its upright, rounded growth habit that makes it ideal for climbing, attaching a tire swing, or picnicking beneath its branches. In short, this massive shade provider is beautiful and easy to care for.
Plant Shade Trees in Your Yard Today
At Moon Valley Nurseries, we sell vibrant, healthy, professionally matured shade trees that are ready to transplant into your yard today. Feel free to speak with our nursery professionals about placement ideas. We can even deliver and plant your trees once you make a purchase! We factor in HOA standards and community-specific weather trends to make sure your new trees thrive.
To speak with us about choosing the right fast-growing shade trees for your home, please contact us online or visit one of our locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, or Florida.
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Locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida
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