5 great shade tree options
If your animals suffered in the heat of summer, now is a great time to plan a plantation of shade trees.
5 TIPS ON CHOOSING GREAT TREES FOR SHADE
If your animals have sweltered through another hot summer, now is a great time to plan what shade trees will do best on your block, and then get planting over the next few months.
• Good shade trees are typically spreading specimens with larger leaves.
• However, if you live in a windy area, choose trees with small leaves – the canopy will tend to stay thicker.
• A taller tree provides more shade, throws it further out into the paddock and shadows will ‘move around’ more, versus a short wide tree which will be mostly shading around its base, limiting how many animals will receive the benefits.
• While a single specimen tree can look good, it’s more practical to plant in groups of 2-3 so you get more shade over a wider area for only a slightly larger protective fence and minimal loss of pasture.
• Poplars are great for shade but some are prone to shedding branches – check for this when choosing the cultivar best for your area.
5 GREAT SHADE TREE OPTIONS
London plane (Platanus acerifolia): fast-growing, spreading tree up to 10m high with large leaves, very hardy.
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera): a beautiful, poplar-like tree but with gorgeous tulip-like flowers and gold foliage in autumn, will reach up to 15m x 10m.
Claret ash (Fraxinus raywoodii): grows up to 20m, stunning claret-coloured leaves in autumn, hardy, 8m spread.
Gingko (Gingko biloba): disease, wind and snow-resistant, high (up to 20m+), lovely spreading crown as tree ages, plus gorgeous autumn colours. Get a male as females drop foul-smelling fruit.
Linden lime (Tilia platyphyllos): hardy shade tree that likes moist soils, up to 13m spread, spring flowers for bees, lovely autumn foliage.