December 18, 2017
We’re not all about cutting down trees here at Pevach. Not 100% anyway. Sometimes we’re hired to dig a little hole and put down roots for some of the best shade trees for Alberta, just to balance things out a little.
Adding a shade tree to your front or backyard gives you–no points for guessing–some extra shade to stop your front room from becoming an oven when the sun hits, but it also provides privacy, somewhere to hang a swing or hammock, a way of attracting wildlife or a place for your kids to play. All this, and you can grow them from a single seed if the conditions are right… If you’ve got a spare decade to wait for them to grow.
There are some varieties of tree that naturally or through selective breeding can grow fast enough to be effective shades within a few years instead of a few decades:
- Hybrid Poplar
Since it can grow up to eight feet a year in good soil, you can have a full grown poplar before by the space-year 2020, and it’ll keep growing until it’s forty to fifty feet high. The Populus deltoides x Populus nigra variety doesn’t drop cotton either, meaning there’s less clean up during late spring. Their only disadvantage is that they can be a little thin, so you may need more than one for a solid privacy screen.
- Red Maple
Although it doesn’t grow quite as fast (three to five feet a year), your compensation is that in Fall it goes red, orange and yellow- and you get to salute it while singing ‘Oh Canada’. And you can tap it for maple syrup.
Another tree that gets great in Fall, the Gingko is the oldest still-living tree on Earth. The female versions produce fruit that drops, smells bad and isn’t even tasty, so avoid those. They grow up to eighty feet tall, but typically only grows one foot a year unless conditions are perfect.
- Northern Red Oak
The fastest-growing variety of oak, with three to five feet of growth per year, the Northern Red Oak also produces acorns which will attract animals. That’s a good thing if you live on an acreage, less good if you’re in an urban area where deer could cause car accidents.
- Weeping Willow
If you’re close to water then this classic shade tree is perfect: it grows fast, is thick enough for a privacy screen and has strong rope-swing potential. Even if you’re in a drier area there are cultivars and hybrids that can work.
Of course, there’s an alternative to planting a young tree and waiting for it to grow: getting a semi-mature adult tree transplanted into your yard. That’s something that we have the equipment to do, as well as the associated preparation and landscaping. If you’ve got ideas for your yard and you want to know your options for the best shade trees in Alberta, then give us a call at Pevach Corp. in Alberta or Saskatchewan!