It’s free and seemingly impossible to find on a scorching July day in Central Florida—we’re talking about shade. But you can create your own by planting a shade tree or two. Trees don’t only provide relief; they can cut down on your electric bill by giving your air conditioner a much-deserved break. And here’s the topper, trees are low maintenance.

Shade tree facts

There’s a tree for all size yards. If you have a small space, pick one with a round or oval canopy—while trees that have broad-spreading branches are better for big yards. When it comes to planting, a good rule is to ask an expert what the canopy of the tree will be when it’s fully grown. It’s safe to plant that tree half the distance to the house as the width of that mature canopy. And put it in the ground on the South or West side of your yard to protect your home from the sun’s most brutal rays.

Deciduous trees will block the sun in the summer, but will also let more sunlight shine through during the winter when they drop their leaves.

There are benefits to evergreen trees too. These species protect anything planted under them from cold temperatures in the winter.

Florida favorites

Here are a few of my recommendations for Florida friendly trees.

The Live Oak is a slow-growing evergreen that can grow to over 80-feet tall.

The Southern Magnolia can get really tall too, and some are over 90-feet. This one produces some of the prettiest white flowers that you’ll ever see, but beware, you’ll have a lot of leaves and cones to pick up.

The Drake Chinese Elm will creates some excellent shade. This semi-evergreen doesn’t get as big as the previous two, but it does grow faster than either of them.

A Bald Cypress is a slow-grower that besides shade will even satisfy your fix to see fall foliage—its leaves change color in autumn.

Hope this information helps you find the shade that you are seeking on this warm July day. If you have any questions about the trees mentioned contact us. We like talking about trees and would love to plant one or even a few for you.

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