The first thing that comes to your mind when you think about trees is shade and privacy. But that’s not the only benefit of planting trees in your backyard. Just take a minute to think about the beauty it will add to your backyard landscape while purifying the atmosphere. 

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider planting trees in your backyard since they also add value to your home.

Planting trees in your backyard can be one of the best investments you can make for your home, family, and community.

In short, trees provide a host of benefits that have both short and long-term advantages.

6 Proven Reasons For Planting Trees In Your Yard

If you aren’t fully convinced or not sure whether you should plant trees in your backyard then here are some wonderful benefits of having shade trees:

a. Temperature control

Trees provide shade and cool the air around them. This makes your hot summer days more enjoyable since it reduces the temperature around your home. 

b. Air purification

Planting trees in your backyard will help in cleaning the air by absorbing pollutants like carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Isn’t this a great way to improve the quality of the air? 

c. Noise reduction

One thing that I will not compromise is my peace. If you live near a busy street then you would know how annoying it can be and there isn’t anything much you can do. The perfect way to solve this problem is by planting trees since they act as a natural sound barrier by reducing noise pollution from traffic.

d. Privacy

If you’re looking for more privacy then trees are a great way to block out unwanted views and provide a sense of security for you and your family. 

e. Aesthetic value

You can’t debate the fact that trees add beauty to your backyard and can be used to create an outdoor living space to entertain family and friends.

f. Wildlife habitat

Planting trees in your backyard can help contribute to the local ecosystem by providing a habitat for wildlife. Your backyard tree garden will provide food and shelter for birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.

Best Trees To Plant In Your Backyard For Shade

Now that you know the benefits of planting trees in your backyard, let’s take a look at some of the best trees to plant for shade. Oh, before we go any further, let’s look at the different types of trees one can plant:

Types of Shade Trees:

a. Deciduous trees -This type of tree shed its leaves in winter, and grows new foliage throughout the spring and summer months. They come in various shapes and sizes, providing shades of greens in the summer months to vibrant colors of oranges, yellows, and reds during the fall. Some popular deciduous trees include maple, oak, and elm.

b. Evergreen trees – Evergreen trees are very unique in that they keep their foliage year-round, as opposed to other deciduous trees which lose their leaves annually. So expect this type of tree to provide year-round shade and privacy due to its dense foliage. Popular evergreen tree species include pine, fir, and spruce.

Best Trees for Backyard and Shade:

Crape Myrtle (Largerstroemia Indica)

Crape myrtle is a flowering tree that is well-known to many gardeners with a height range of 10 to 30 feet. There are numerous varieties that you can choose from. In addition, crape myrtle starts blooming during the springtime with beautiful cascading clusters of bright pink, red, purple, and white flowers. 

If you’re all about making your backyard garden beautiful then this tree will be perfect for you. Not to mention their smooth brown bark and outstretched branches that stand out.

Crape myrtles are summer-loving trees which makes them an ideal choice for warmer climates. These trees require more water than many other small trees, so it is important to ensure they get enough moisture during dry periods.

Quick Facts:

Hardiness: Zones 6–9.

Growth Rate: This tree is fast growing, shooting up as much as 24 inches a year until maturity.

Sun Preference: Full sun which is at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference: Grows in a wide range of soils from slightly alkaline to acidic. For the best result, plant your crape myrtle trees in moist, well-drained sites.

Wildlife Habitat: Attracts bees and birds.

American Holly (Ilex opaca)

American holly is an evergreen and ornamental tree that’s native to the eastern United States and Canada. It grows up to 40 feet tall, with dark green, glossy leaves that are oval and have spiny teeth along the edges. During the spring months, white fragrant flowers blossom followed by bright red berries which remain throughout the winter season. Looking for beauty and privacy that lasts throughout the year? Then this pyramidal shape tree is a sure deal!

The American holly is also known for its hardiness and resilience. It can tolerate a wide range of soil types and climates, making it an ideal choice for many different regions. Furthermore, this backyard tree can also withstand strong winds and heavy snowfall without damage, making it a great option for areas with harsh winters. With adequate care and maintenance, this tree can last for decades, providing years of beauty and privacy to any landscape.

Additionally, the American holly is known for its decorative berries during the holidays. 

Quick Facts:

Hardiness Zones: Zones 5–9.

Growth Rate: Grows at a slow to medium rate with trees increasing in height from less than 12 to 24 inches per year.

Sun Preference: A balance between full sun and partial shade. A minimum of 4 hours of direct unfiltered sunlight each day would be preferable.

Soil Preference: Accommodate well-drained, acidic, moist, loamy, sandy, rich, and clay soil.  

Wildlife Habitat: The foliage of the American holly peak the interest of songbirds and mammals, and its fruit becomes food for quail, wild turkey, and birds. Lastly, the flowers are also attractive to bees. 

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

The Dogwood tree is a small deciduous flowering tree that can be used to enhance the beauty of your backyard. It grows up to 25 feet tall and has a spreading canopy of branches. This breathtaking tree will spark the curiosity of butterflies, and even bring delighting buzzes of bees. Additionally, birds and other wildlife may visit your yard due to the presence of red berries. This tree is perfect if you’re looking to add a splash of color to your landscape with its white, pink, and red blossoms. Not to mention, dogwood trees are suitable for many geographical zones in the United States. When planting this tree, it is best to keep it away from intense sunlight and hot temperatures.

Quick Facts:

Hardiness Zones: Zones 5 to 9.

Growth Rate: Can grow up to 12 to 20 feet tall.

Sun Preference: Prefers full sun and full shade.

Soil Preference: From average to moist, well-drained, fertile, and acidic soil.

Wildlife Habitat: Attracts butterflies and birds

Red Oak (Quercus rubra)

Red oak is a common choice for landscaping due to its rapid growth. This plant can reach a height of up to 50-75 feet and be equally broad. Planting a red oak can be beneficial in many ways; not only does it provide shade and beauty but it also helps clean the air by absorbing pollutants like carbon dioxide. Not only is red oak resilient against drought, but also black walnut too!

The red oak has stunning red foliage in the fall that will add beauty to any landscape. This plant has both male and female flowers that are not easily visible, appearing in spring.

Quick Facts:

Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 to 8.

Growth Rate: This tree grows rapidly, increasing in height by more than 24 inches annually.

Sun Preference: Prefers full sun and should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference: Grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. 

Wildlife Habitat: Acorns from this tree are the perfect food source for birds, wild turkeys, squirrels, small rodents, deer, raccoons, and black bears. 

Red Maple Tree

The Red Maple tree can be used to add visual interest to landscaping designs. It is a deciduous tree that produces beautiful red blooms in the spring and superb fall display with its bright red leaves. The Red Maple is also drought tolerant, low maintenance, and can tolerate wet soil, and black walnut. This majestic tree can grow up to 60-75 feet tall and wide making it an impressive addition to any landscape.

Quick Facts:

Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 to 9.

Growth Rate: Grows at a medium to a fast rate which height increasing anywhere from 13 to more than 24 inches per year.

Sun Preference: Prefers full sun and should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference: Grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. 

Wildlife Habitat: Squirrels love the fruits from this tree. Also, deers and rabbits feed on the young leaves and shoots of red maples.

Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

The Tulip Poplar tree is a robust shade tree that displays yellow flowers with hints of orange and green. This tree is known for its beautiful fast-growing hardwood that can grow more than two feet in a year. It is said to have a life span of 300 years! That means this tree is forever rooted! It can grow in various climates and conditions, so it’s a great option for homeowners who want an easy-to-care-for tree with vibrant colors.

Quick Facts:

Hardiness Zones: Zones 4 to 9.

Growth Rate: Grows at a fast rate with a height increase of more than 24 inches per year.

Sun Preference: Prefers full sun and should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference: It grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. 

Wildlife Habitat: A food source for many animals. During the fall and winter, deer and rabbits feed on young trees. Hummingbirds feed on nectar from spring flowers. Lastly, During the summer, the seeds mature and become a food source for birds and mammals, such as finches, quail, rabbits, mice, and squirrels.

Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

The Weeping Willow is a tree characterized by its pendulous branches and is well known. This plant is easy to grow, tolerant of wet conditions, deer, and black walnut, and adaptable. Weeping willows are an excellent choice for shade, capable of growing in full or partial sun and reaching a height of 35 feet. 

Weeping willow trees are suitable for low-lying, wet areas. The long branches of the plants offer shade and protection, while their deep roots help to stabilize the soil during heavy rain. The foliage of this tree will provide year-round color to your backyard. The weeping willow is a popular choice for gardens and yards as it is relatively easy to grow and maintain.

Quick Facts: 

Hardiness Zones: Zones 6 to 8.

Growth Rate: This tree grows at a fast rate with a height increase of more than 24 inches per year.

Sun Preference: Full sun and partial shade is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference: It grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. 

Wildlife Habitat: this tree serves as a source of food for rabbits, beavers, and deer. It’s also a nesting site for many birds and mammals.

Eastern White Pine (Pinus Strobus)

The Eastern White Pine tree is an excellent choice for backyard landscaping. It is a fast-growing evergreen tree that can reach heights of up to 80 feet and widths of up to 40 feet. Its open canopy of soft needles provides ample shade and its deep root system helps keep soil in place during heavy rains. The Eastern White Pine is also tolerant of wet soil, black walnut, deer, and rabbit.

To go more in-depth, the Eastern White Pine has beautiful blue-green needles that are soft to the touch and give off a pleasant aroma. The needles of this tree change to yellow in the fall, providing a splash of color to the landscape. The Eastern White Pine is low maintenance and easy to care for, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to add beauty and shade to their backyard.

Quick Facts:

Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 to 8.

Growth Rate: Eastern White Pine grows at a fast rate with a height increase of more than 24 inches per year.

Sun Preference: Full sun and partial shade are ideal and getting at least 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference: It grows in acidic, moist, dry, well-drained soil. 

Wildlife Habitat: The pine seeds are food for rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. It’s also a nesting site for birds.

How to Plant and Care for Trees in Your Yard, Step by Step

Trees are a wonderful addition to any yard or garden. They provide shade, beauty, and even food! But caring for and planting trees correctly can make the difference between a healthy, beautiful tree and one that’s struggling to survive.

Here are some tips for caring for and planting your new trees:

  1. Prepare the ground before you plant by loosening the soil.
  2. Remove competing weeds or grasses from around your tree’s base.
  3. Choose an appropriate spot with enough room for your tree to grow properly without crowding other plants or structures.
  4. Make sure to dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep.
  5. Place the tree in the hole and backfill it with soil. And make sure to tamp down the soil around the tree to ensure that it is firmly in place.
  6. Water regularly during the early months after first planting, and during non-drought times of the year, especially during periods of drought.
  7. Mulch around the base of your tree to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth.
  8. Apply a slow-release fertilizer if needed, but follow labeled instructions carefully as overfertilization can harm your tree’s roots.
  9. Prune your trees regularly to remove dead or diseased branches and encourage healthy growth.
  10. Finally, inspect your trees for signs of pests or disease and take appropriate action if necessary.

Final Thoughts On Trees To Plant In Your Backyard

Planting trees in a backyard garden is an excellent way to enhance the beauty and utility of your outdoor space. Trees come in various shapes, colors, fruit-bearing qualities, and sizes, providing a range of advantages to their environment and owners. Choosing the right tree for your space depends on factors such as soil type, climate conditions, and careful consideration of both short-term and long-term care. Consider investing in trees for your landscape for added shade, privacy, beauty, and ecological benefits.

Lastly, consider native varieties if you want a low-maintenance option, or explore evergreen options for year-round appeal. Ensure that you plant the tree at a safe distance from any power lines and consider how large it will get before planting as well. With proper care and maintenance, your backyard tree will thrive for many years to come!