Five shade trees to help shield your yard from the sun

Shade trees are great at offering relief from the hot sun when you and your family are...

Shade trees are great at offering relief from the hot sun when you and your family are outside, and they can also keep your house cool on long summer days. Add some form and function to your yard by including some of these trees in your landscaping plans. Here are five of the best shade trees to plant in your yard:

Sawtooth oak

This fast-growing tree won't keep you waiting for a spot to escape the sun. The sawtooth oak is a medium-size tree with a long, gray trunk. With its dark, lustrous leaves, it commands attention in any yard. In autumn, its leaves turn a warm golden yellow to add a touch of the season to your garden. You should keep in mind that unlike a traditional oak, this pyramidal tree will take 30 years to mature, so plant it accordingly. This tree is well-suited for growing in the Southeast.

Southern magnolia

With a 40-foot spread, this evergreen tree has been known to protect against winter elements as well as the sun. It offers shade for both you and your plants year-round, with lush green leaves that make way for lemon-citronella scented flowers. This tree is a stunner and will be a focal point for your yard for many years. The southern magnolia tends to grow from 60-feet to 80-feet tall.

Autumn blaze maple

This standard beauty, which can grow to 70 feet, will keep you cool all summer and offer stunning foliage in the fall. The autumn blaze maple should never be planted too near a house or a septic system because its roots can invade cracks and cause damage. No landscape design is complete without a maple, and the autumn blaze might be the leader of the pack with its vibrant red fall foliage and massive size.

Flowering dogwood

The flowering dogwood is a small, deciduous tree often used along borders. These trees, which often grow to around 30 feet, can cover a large area and add to your landscape design as well as your comfort. Use them to block your garden or section off your property. Flowering dogwoods tend to be wider than taller, so they can grow beneath other types of taller trees, boosting the amount of shade in your yard.

Freeman maple

Depending on the size of your property, you might be able to house one of these gorgeous trees. A freeman maple can often withstand dry environments for long periods of time, so this hybrid does well in the South. While it takes a while to grow, its size is well worth the wait. It can range from 40- to 50-feet high. This beauty will protect your home, yard and car from the harsh sun.

Whether you hire an Atlanta-area landscaper or design your garden yourself, you won't be disappointed if you include some shade trees in your yard for both comfort and style.

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