The Q&A Archives: Suggestion For Good Shade Tree

Question: Hello. I live in Sunnyvale, California where the temperature rarely gets below thirty degrees in the winter and above ninety five degrees in the summer. We can get a significant amount of rain from October to April but nothing from April to October.

The front of my home faces the west. With no shade in my front yard the front of the house bakes in the sun. I'd like to change that by planting an appropriate tree. My yard is clear, flat and open (few overhead utility lines). I'd say the yard is about forty five feet wide and about thirty feet deep.

Could you please recommend a fast growing tree that will provide shade to the front of my single story home? I was thinking something like a pin oak tree (which I think will fill those requirements). What is your suggestion?

Thank you.

Answer: Quercus palustris (pin oak) is an attractive tree with an open, broad crown - perfect for providing summertime shade. An added bonus is that the foliage turns brownish-black at the end of the season and hangs on the tree until the following spring when new leaves emerge. Other considerations include Liquidambar (sweet gum), Catalpa, Morus (fruitless mulberry) and Acer (maple). Whichever you choose, it's sure to bring beauty and much needed shade to your landscape.

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