Cool Your Home – Choosing Trees for Shade

shade trees

Cool Your Home with Trees

Is your street hot? Are you living in an area that is suffering from the Urban Heat Island Effect and craving some shade? Don’t just put up a patio or shade sails, plant more trees!  The best trees for shade to cool down your home are those massive trees planted 50+years ago. You know, those large n leafy Jacarandas, and Plane trees plus others that line leafy suburbs, growing more than 15m+ and usually found in older areas close to the city or town centres in surrounding parks and gardens, sucking up urban pollution and creating cool patches around the city. – But this isn’t practical for our small plots of land that have been taken over by large houses. We care way too much about tree roots getting into the plumbing and cracked retaining walls.

And fair enough, but we really need to do something to counteract the rising temps in our suburbs. Something that probably should have been addressed at the pre-development level by local shires, now rests in our hands. We’ve got to be planting more trees.

Aside from uncomfortable rise in temps in the suburbs, there’s the huge environmental impact as we use more energy to cool homes, there’s less biodiversity in our urban areas, and associated health problems with more heat related deaths.  Plus, the mental aspect – we’re just happier living amongst trees.

We’re still suffering from the hangover of those  ‘low maintenance’ gardens thrust upon us from early 2000. You know those gardens thrown together using  grassy, spiky yuccas and cordylines, flax and dianellas. While these plants are very easy to look after and quite drought tolerant, they quickly look scraggly if not kept up and they don’t really encourage the birds and insects into the backyard, or provide much shade. Yes, they were a low maintenance, hard to kill type of garden, so we could focus on the important stuff like buying all the latest mod cons and toys for our larger homes. But now the burbs are heating up and we need to remedy this by creating shade back into our gardens.

Here’s a list of trees that you could use to create more shade in the garden

Large Shrubs  

Great for smaller blocks, these large shrubs can grow into small shade creating trees.

Large shrubs can be quite useful for creating shade. Plant different varieties with trees and you’ll have lots of local wildlife like birds, bees and lizards making a home in your garden – creating a little microclimate for these little guys.

Hibiscus cottonwood – used a lot in landscaping projects all over the place. It likes living in our corner of the world and grows quickly.

Viburnums -Very versatile large shrubs. We usually have a few varieties growing. Can grow in the full sun. Or in the shade. Great for those narrow areas down the side of the house.

Syzygium -Lilly Pilly – Bush Christmas can grow up to 4m, creating a beautiful, evergreen little tree for shade that small birds, like the Blue Wren, make homes in as it has dense foliage.

Magnolia Little Gem – Chunky, white flowers year round, this is the small version of the huge 20m+ Magnolia grandiflora. These are a very adapatable small tree that can be planted in the sun and in shade.

Bottle Brush – WA favourite, fast growing, big beautiful flowrs and they can be grown in wide range of soil types and sun and shade positions.

Grevillea – Enjoy these year round, Grevilleas are really easy to grow. Fast growing and bird and bee attracting, as many are long flowering.

Crepe Myrtle – This is one of our favourites here at Lakeside. In the heat of summer, Crepe Myrtle will dazzle you with its vibrant flowers. Leave as a large shrub or train into a multi stemmed tree. Spectacular flowers in the heat of summer. Long flowering. Well suited to our climate. Can grow 3m – 7m depending on variety.

Small – Medium Sized Trees 

 Agonis flexuosa – Peppy Trees – native to our Southwest area, these trees are very easy to grow and the local, wildlife likes them too.

Chinese Elm – classic deciduous tree with an interesting shape. Quick to grow and easy care.

Gleditsia There are  3 types. Ruby Lace, Sunburst and Shade Master – Quick growing, these trees put out a lovely shade canopy.

Chinese Tallow very popular deciduous tree that does very well in Western Australia’s hot and sunny climate. Chinese Tallow is fast growing and displays gorgeous Autumn colours.

Evergreen Ash – Lovely small tree with dense, evergreen foliage. Use these as tree row against a fence with shrubs planted underneath.

Silver Birch  – this deciduous tree has a gorgeous stark white character trunk that cracks with age and contrasts beautifully with small, dainty green foliage.

Flowering Plums – add one of these to your garden for a splash of red/purple.

Cercis – American Redbud or Forest Pansy – a beautiful small tree with heart shaped leaves.

Ornamental Pear – there’s a few different choices when it comes to this tree. Choose one that suits your block. They range from column shaped, upright tree shape to more of a traditional pyramid shaped tree. All display autumn colours.

Olive Trees – grow 6-10m. Can be kept clipped and are easy to grow, plus you get olives!

Large Trees

Pick these trees if you’ve got some room for the canopy and roots to grow. These are big, beautiful shade giving trees.

Jacaranda – everyone’s favourite tree that flowers in late Spring and Summer. Creates a gorgeous shady canopy

Tipuanu Tipu – fast growing tree with fern like foliage. Also has a nice canopy for shade

London Plane – elegant and grand, these trees can grow quite large.

Brachychiton – big leaves that stay most of the year, followed by bright red flowers.

Alford Blaze  – this oriental plane tree produces fiery red foliage in Autumn.

Claret Ash – Lovely tree with soft, handsome foliage that turns a deep claret colour in Autumn

Liquid Amber – well known large tree with large, colourful autumn foliage. Quick to grow

 

 

tree rows

Come and check out our tree nursery or get in touch with us if you’re after a specific tree for your backyard.