While Orlando is beloved for its endless sunny days, its summertime heat and humidity can be unforgiving.

Central Florida homeowners depend on their air conditioning to keep their homes comfortable throughout most of the year, but with energy prices on the rise, they are seeking ways to cool their abodes without breaking the bank.

Shading your home with trees is a fantastic way to block the sun’s blazing rays, so your A/C unit isn’t constantly running during the hottest times of the day. Through strategic planning and landscape design, you can reduce your energy consumption and lower your electric bill by using trees to shade the walls and roof of your home.

Beat the Heat by Planting Shade Trees in Your Yard

The Florida sun can be relentless, but when you choose to plant a few of the following shade trees in your landscape, they’ll provide your home with the cover it needs to stay cool.

Live Oak

This majestic, deep-rooted southern shade tree is strong and durable. Known for its broad canopy, it can withstand hurricane force winds so long as its limbs are thinned out as it grows to allow the wind to pass through. Live oaks demand little attention and are disease resistant. Its trunk can reach 6 feet in diameter and its root system can spread as far as its canopy, which are the reasons why you need to plant it at least 20 feet from your home and any structures.

Southern Magnolia

This flowering beauty is perfect for shading the side of your home that receives the most sun. Southern magnolias can grow up to 90 feet tall and their crown can span 50 feet; however, there are other varieties that don’t grow quite so large. They produce cream colored fragrant flowers in the spring that are 14 inches in diameter, so it’s not just a shade tree, but a treat for the eyes and nose! Southern Magnolias need to be planted 30 to 50 feet from a home’s foundation to prevent their root system from causing damage. As a sapling, it needs 5 gallons of water per week, so make sure your irrigation system sprinklers are positioned to satiate its thirst.

If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll be happy to take a look, so your shade trees can grow up big and strong.  

Bald Cypress

The thick, feathery foliage of the Bald Cypress makes it an excellent shade tree for any landscape. Hardy and durable, this tree requires barely any attention once it’s established. While this tree can grow 120 feet tall with a trunk that’s 6 feet in diameter, it only needs to be at least 15 feet from your home’s foundation, so you can fully appreciate its ability to block the sun.

Florida Elm

Growing upwards of 60 to 80 feet or more, you’ll love how the Florida Elm’s broad, thick canopy casts shade all over your house. In the fall, its foliage puts on a show with bright oranges, reds, and yellows. When choosing the perfect spot to plant it, keep in mind that it needs to be at least 20 feet from your home’s foundation, driveway, and sidewalks. Elms don’t like “wet feet,” so pick a place in your landscape that has good drainage.

When Planting Shade Trees, Patience is Key    

Shade trees are typically slow growing, so you won’t see significant energy savings right away. However, in time, they will reward you greatly by reducing your energy consumption. Furthermore, you’ll be providing the wildlife in your area a place to hide from predators, nest, and cool off.

Remember to keep your newly planted shade tree watered well until it’s established, and if you ever need assistance with sprinkler repair or irrigation in the Orlando area, we’re here to help!