Plant these trees now for shade in a few years.
Want to add some shade to your garden, patio, or deck? Trees are the answer. Trees provide shelter and food for wildlife, and when you plant your own you get to watch it grow up! Make sure to choose a variety that will survive winters in your area (check your USDA Hardiness zone here) and read the plant description to learn its mature height and width. When planting, steer clear of utility lines, driveways, and—of course—your house, to give the tree plenty of room to stretch its branches and roots. When you're ready to plant, dig a hole that’s the same depth as the root ball; planting too deep is a common mistake! Remove the container, or if it’s balled and burlapped, cut off the burlap and wire because some burlap won’t decompose. It’s fine to add compost to improve soil texture, but mix it into the entire planting bed, not just in the hole itself. Research has shown that putting amendments only into the hole causes the tree’s roots to stay in the tiny hole instead of spreading out into the native soil. Refill the hole with the dirt you removed, gently tamp down soil, and water well. Keep it watered the first year or two as it gets established.
Ready? Here are a few fast-growing shade trees for your garden: