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Best Shade Trees in Virginia

Shade Trees

Shade Trees

The best shade trees in Virginia offer you energy savings and environmental benefits. But, before you dig a hole for your new tree, consider which trees fit your landscape.

By looking at factors such as size, soil type needed, water availability and foliage, you can pick the best tree for your home. Remember to think about how much sun the area will receive and how much water will reach the tree. The best shade trees for your sun and water conditions will be native plants. These species already have a natural tolerance to the local climate and won’t require additional water or pesticides. Because of this, you save water and reduce pollution.

As these trees grow, you will start to reap the financial and environmental benefits of shade trees. Because shade trees decrease the temperature under them by 20-45 degrees Fahrenheit [1], your home will be cooler in the summer, saving you money on your air conditioning bill. In turn, this decreases your greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality because the trees remove air pollutants.

The added vegetation acts as a natural filter for rain, reducing runoff and filtering rainwater. This can reduce standing water in the yard and prevent yard soil erosion.  Large trees can also be sound barriers and increase property values.  And because your tree isn’t pushing into the sidewalk, you will reduce sidewalk maintenance because the shade helps slow pavement deterioration.

When it comes to size, remember to think of the future size of the tree. Is there enough space for my tree to continue to grow without pushing into any sidewalks, roads or buildings? Also, is the area clear of overhead and underground utilities?

After knowing your parameters, you are ready to pick a shade tree. These types of trees are best suited for Virginia according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. For more information on the trees, visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s site.

Large Trees:

  • American Sycamore
  • Bald Cypress
  • Green Ash
  • Honey Locust
  • Norway Maple
  • Pin Oak
  • Red Maple
  • Red Oak
  • Silver Maple
  • Sugar Maple
  • Tuliptree
  • White Ash
  • White Oak

Medium Trees:

  • American Yellowwood
  • Black Gum
  • Linden
  • River Birch

Small Trees:

  • Striped Maple

Your local extension agent or nursery will be able to best answer any questions you have regarding the shade trees.

So by selecting the best shade tree in Virginia for your home, you end up saving money and the environment all at the same time. Plus, you will get to enjoy the shade of your new tree.

Author: Brenna Malmberg

[1] EPA shade tree temperature

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