7 Trees for Summer Shade & Fall Color!When is a tree not just a tree? In addition to being lovely landscape elements, trees can provide unparalleled energy savings and visual drama. FACT: A tree planted on the west side of a house can reduce net carbon emissions from summertime electricity use by 30 percent over a 100-year period. Keeping the sun off your home during the summer can save both money and energy. And one of the best ways to do that is by planting shade trees in the right locations so they can block the sun from streaming in the windows and heating up the walls and roofs. “Shade” trees come in all shapes and sizes, for many different climates and planting zones, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Additionally, many of these trees are offer seasonal beauty, such as gorgeous fall leaf color.
- Oaks. These majestic shade trees include more than 60 species native to the United States, so you can find an oak to suit any region of the country. They are versatile, durable and dramatic.
- Lindens. Slow-growing and stately, lindens come in a wide variety of types. The heart-shape leaves provide dense shade, and produce a pale yellow color.
- Maples. These glorious trees are everyone’s favorites for fall color. There are a wide variety of maples which will grow almost anywhere, and which make great shade providers.
- Tulip Trees. One of the largest trees in North America, the tulip tree is named for cup-shape orange, yellow, and green flowers that appear in late spring. And it has a stunning golden fall color.
- Elms. While Dutch elm disease decimated these gracious shade trees in North America from 1930 to the late 1980s, new disease-resistant varieties mean it’s time to start planting them again.
- Hawthorns. These unique trees have white flowers in spring, glossy red fruit in late summer, and leaves that unfurl with a red/purple tint changing to deep green then orange, red or purple in fall.
- Eastern Redbuds. This North American native has red buds that open to pink flowers. The dark green, heart-shaped leaves turn yellow in autumn.
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