shade tree for zone 6

xmisskimxMarch 9, 2013

Live in zone 6 (Kentucky) and am really trying to research a good shade tree that will not give us a problem with it's roots.. whether above ground or under.. Our backyard gets extremely hot as there is nothing there to shade our wildlife.. we even had our baby martins die in their nest boxes from the heat.. we can't even stay back there when it's heat of summer.. Just looking to plant 1 or so that will give us some nice relief from the sun!

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An eastern cottonwood would gives some dense shade pretty quick. They take the heat well and they are native. They do have weak wood though....

This post was edited by greenthumbzdude on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 18:38

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:37PM
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There are a lot of options to choose from. A couple of questions for further clarification: What do you mean by root problems above or below ground--not planting over water or field lines? How large of an area do you have to plant on in the backyard?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:56PM
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I think the septic is far enough away not to ever interfere.. but I know there are some maples for example with roots that have caused problems with us having to mow over them as they extended above the ground.. we have a large enough area for a shade tree to be, large yard.. this tree would be away from our house but close to our outdoor building,, I just don't know enough to know how far roots can extend..

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Take a look at Shumard Oak. Many oaks are large, strong-wooded and give good shade. Shumards have attractive leaves and may hold a lot of them well into winter, if you like that. The leaves are large and attractive. This is a popular oak that gets very large and grows pretty fast, from what I understand.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I'll second the oak recommendation.
Shumard is good, but bur oak is my fave - and it is native to KY, adaptable to a wide range of soil types/pH, drought-resistant once established, and quite fast-growing.
I'll warn against pin oak - which may be the most common oak you're likely to find in the local nursery trade. If you have alkaline soil, chlorosis may be a problem; I'm seeing nice big pin oaks taken out here by a double-whammy of bacterial leaf scorch and horny stem/branch galls - and, until you limb them up like a big ol' lollipop, pin oaks have downsweeping branches that are perennial eye-pokers.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:44PM
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I like the oaks suggestion. I might add for a fast-growing instant shade tree, consider Yellow-poplar/Tulip poplar. These are good hardwoods with spring flowering and nice yellow fall color. Plus no surface root problems. The tree is also hospitable to being under planted (with discretion) with a flower bed.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:45AM
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Tulip poplar is easy to plant when young. They get fleshy orange colored roots best planted ASAP.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 5:03AM
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