shade trees that do well in shade???

homesteader57(7)September 2, 2013

I really hope you will help me with this decision! I do not know much about shade trees. I want to plant trees around the house, sides (sides east and west) front (south). I live in N. MS and the summers are so hot, I want to shade the house as much as possible.

I need one medium to large tree in the front (south). There are some large trees on the west side that shade part of the front yard, the rest is sunnier. As you move east toward the driveway you get full sun. What shade tree would do well in these conditions?! I want to shade, need to shade, the front of the house so we don't roast in summer.

Moving around to the east side, I've got partial shade. I think too much sun for dogwoods, but I'm not sure! Probably. What small to medium trees would do well here?

Please help me with this. My husband and I want to enjoy our property. I don't want to make the wrong decision and waste time, effort, and money.

Thank you so very much for your much needed expertise and advice!

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One concept to help you understand the terms as you evaluate choices.

Trees that provide shade are not called "shade trees" in that they don't live in shade.

So if the trees you're looking for are ones that would be planted in what is now a full sun area, you want to look for "sun tolerant" trees.

In Mississippi that would be oak trees, southern magnolia, tuliptree (scientific name Liriodendron tulipifera), red maple, even sweet gum (!) and other trees that get over 40 feet tall. Here is a good link about native trees which, in my opinion, are the best trees for your biggest trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: native trees for Mississippi

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Oak and maple are the first thing I think of. They may be apex species, but they can grow in quite dense shade in the forests until a bit of light comes through. Some magnolia are the same. They may grow slow until they get the prper light.

Google "apex tree species" and yu should get thousands of pages, some of which will mention they are tolerant of shade until the canpy opens.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:18AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

words are nice.. pix are better


    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Let's get this terminology straight - A 'shade tree' is any tree grown specifically for its shade. This is the commonly accepted horticultural definition. This term usually applies to large trees with spreading canopies. Shade trees are effective in reducing the energy used in cooling homes.

As to whether or not shade trees can be shade tolerant, that depends a lot on the species. The attached link (Wikipedia) lists trees for shade tolerance so you can choose from among those listings for best results (not all listed are considered "shade trees", however).

Here is a link that might be useful: list of trees by shade tolerance

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Choose according to mature size desired and other features like the kind of shade each produces (this ranges from dense and dark to light), what you think of how they look and so on. Do not box house in with closely planted trees that may cause problems later. Also keep in mind that desired effect may take decades to develop, so that if you are too hot now you will have to take other steps to get relief anytime soon. These would usually be modifications to the house itself, such as enhanced insulation, installation of blinds or awnings etc.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I think I see what you are saying - you want a tree to provide shade, but it also gets shaded by your western trees.
I doubt partial shade will cause much of an issue. If you want a fast growing tree, try yellow poplar or maybe sycamore (there are some downsides to fast growing trees - you don't want them near structures or your water lines). If shade TRULY is an issue, you could try beech, but they need a lot of water and grow slowly. Perhaps some hard maples would give you what you want as well.
For the east side, I don't know if I can help - you might check out local options in your area by driving around or checking out an arboretum. There are lots of ornamentals that MIGHT fit the bill like crepe myrtle, honeysuckle, and as you said dogwood. I am not familiar with sun issues and dogwoods, but maybe an issue so far south. Honeysuckle grows like a weed and will spread - but it is really more of a large shrub.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 11:42PM
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How about some nice Ash trees, White, Green, whatever?They grow pretty quick yet have quite tough wood. I have grown quite fond of the two White Ash's in my back yard. They practically shade the entire area even though only ~20 years old. The bark on the trees gets more interesting as time progresses too, with the ridges and color contrasts deepening and heightening yearly.

They are native to your state in all but the southern most coastal regions and for some reason the western portion near the Mississippi River for the Whites and it looks like Greens are found everywhere in MS. EAB has not yet been identified in. It also looks as if MS has yet to have a confirmed EAB presence.

Maybe im way of base here but I sure hope not.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 3:14AM
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"It also looks as if MS has yet to have a confirmed EAB presence."

Be that as it may, emerald ash borer is spreading (I'm in Kentucky, and it's spreading here), so I suspect it's just a matter of time until it reaches that area. Let's say it takes 20 years, then the bug shows up & kills the ash tree. Right around the time the tree has started to get big & beautiful.

Trees are such a long-term project. Something to think about.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 4:40AM
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