Did you know that the sun shines in Florida 237 days per year? It’s no coincidence that our state is dubbed as the Sunshine State, as we experience more sunny days than the national average at 205 days. While a lot of sunshine has many benefits, there are downfalls that come along with it. We experience a lot of heat and the sun’s intense rays can take a beating on our home. The good news is that shade trees in Florida can help, but what are the best shade trees for our state?
If you are wondering about the best shade trees in Florida, look no further. This blog covers the top shade trees to choose from, which can help you achieve a cooler home and even lower energy bills during the hottest months.
What are Shade Trees?
First, let’s talk about the definition of shade trees. Shade trees provide a large amount of shade in their surrounding environment. The shade is a result of a large, sprawling canopy and crown. Shade trees may also provide shelter from sunlight during the heat of summer, ranging from people in urban parks to animals looking for relief from the sun.
You can find shade trees in many areas throughout Florida. They may be in your neighborhood, your own yard, at a local park, or an urban area. They come with tremendous benefits, which include blocking sunlight that may result in sunburns.
Some people intentionally grow shade trees for comfort and relief from the sun. Meanwhile, shade trees are also able to help lower energy bills.
How do Shade Trees Help with Energy Bills?
It’s not just a theory that shade trees can help save home energy. Even a small amount of shade over your home can result in monthly savings on your energy bills, but just how much?
According to First Energy, strategically positioned trees can reduce your home’s heating and cooling consumption by up to 25%. This may result in an annual energy savings of up to $250 per year.
Meanwhile, if the air conditioning unit is also under shade, even better. This is because an air conditioning unit under a shade tree can increase efficiency by up to 10%.
How to Select a Shade Tree
Now that you see the benefits of shade trees, let’s discuss how you should select the right tree for your home.
- One of the biggest considerations is the mature size of the shade tree. Some shade trees can reach heights of over 80 feet! This will also call for maintenance of the tree, including trimming and pruning. You’ll also want to consider if flowers and colors are important to you.
- When you plant a new shade tree, you’ll certainly need to consider the surrounding environment. Does the location of the tree contain overhead power lines? Other considerations include sidewalks, driveways, and even your home’s foundation.
Keeping these factors in mind can help you select the best shade tree for your needs and home. But what are the best shade trees to pick from in the state of Florida?
Live Oak Trees
The first tree on our list is the Live Oak Tree. Otherwise known as Quercus Virginiana, this is a gorgeous tree that can provide an incredible amount of shade. These are very deep rooted trees that are durable. These trees are also known to withstand hurricane force winds, which is a serious benefit here in Florida.
The Live Oak Trees can grow to be quite massive. They have huge canopies that provide a tremendous amount of shade. Not only are these trees perfect for serving as a shade tree, but they are also majestic in appearance.
The good news is that Live Oak Trees do not require a lot of care to thrive. However, these trees are susceptible to disease if you do not trim and prune. It will also cause the tree branches to grow in ways that will not help the tree during the course of its life.
Southern Magnolia Tree
What’s another good shade tree in Florida? The Southern Magnolia. This tree species is known as the Magnolia Grandiflora. This is a gorgeous shade tree that boasts creamy white flowers that are bursting with an alluring fragrance. Not only will they provide your home with ample shade, but they smell amazing as well.
Blooming during the spring season, these trees can grow up to a staggering 90 feet in height. If you don’t want a tree that grows so big, there are smaller variations available.
If you want a Southern Magnolia Tree for your home, you’ll need to find a location with loamy, sandy soil that is deep and acidic, or pH neutral. Well-drained soil is critical for this type of tree to thrive.
To give your Southern Magnolia Tree the best shot at thriving, you should plant it in the full sun. Full exposure to sunlight will also yield the maximum number of flowers during the spring season. At the very least, the Southern Magnolia needs at least four hours of direct sunlight each day, which isn’t very difficult to achieve here in Florida.
Southern Magnolias can also bleed from pruning, so be careful when it comes to maintenance. Hiring an expert such as Warner Tree Service is the best approach, especially for this species of tree.
Slash Pine Tree
While your mind may not go to pine trees when it comes to shade trees, the Slash Pine Tree might just change your mind. Known as the Pinus Elliottii, this tree boasts long and soft needles. Large canopies help create shade with plenty of natural beauty to behold.
In fact, the Slash Pine Tree creates a natural bird sanctuary. If you are a nature lover, this is yet another reason to choose this tree for your yard. It also brings a rustic and woodsy look that you’re bound to love.
Another excellent benefit of the Slash Pine Tree is the ease of care. This tree is incredibly low maintenance while providing you with plenty of shade for years to come.
But what about trimming or pruning the Slash Pine Tree? You’ll need to be careful, as trimming your Slash Pine Tree can kill it. Knowing how and when to prune pine trees is critical. Trimming this pine tree to shorten the branches is generally a bad idea. However, it’s good to take occasional care of your Slash Pine Tree, but contacting professional tree trimming services is the best approach.
Florida Elm Tree
The Florida Elm Tree is the final on our list for the best shade trees in Florida. The Florida elm is another very large tree, topping out at 60 to 80 feet in height. This tree is beautiful and elegant with an incredibly large canopy. Planting this tree on your property will have you enjoying a spectacular amount of shade, helping your home to cool off when it’s needed the most.
The Florida Elm Tree is known as the Ulmnus Americana. This tree grows best in full sunlight. It has a straight trunk, vase-shaped crown, and a symmetrical canopy shade.
The downside to the Florida Elm Tree is that it is susceptible to breakage during storms. You’ll also want to proceed with caution if you have problems with allergies.
Regular pruning and trimming are the best approach to caring for the Florida Elm Tree. The tree needs pruning while young to shorten aggressive main branches. You’ll also want to prune this tree in the dormant season only, which helps to stop the spread of any possible diseases. Dutch elm disease has killed many variations of elm trees, but the good news is that it is not detected in Florida as of now.
Florida Elm Tree Caring for Shade Trees
Just like any other tree, you’ll want to take care of your shade trees to the best of your ability. Proper care ensures a long lifespan for shade trees, so you can reap the benefits for years to come.
Do you need help with trimming or pruning your shade tree? We are highly experienced in this area, all while knowing the right approach for each species of tree. Do not attempt to prune or trim your shade tree without knowing the best methods. This can ultimately result in damaging or killing your shade tree.
Whether you have a shade tree that needs pruning or another variation of tree, please contact us now with questions or to schedule an appointment.