Here are just a few examples of shade trees that we have at Wagon Hammock Nursery.
- Ginkgo Biloba: The “Autumn Gold” variety of the Ginkgo tree is remarkable in the fall. Its leaves are unique and different in shape than most other trees. The leaves are what some may describe as “fan-shaped.” But the most spectacular trait of the “Autumn Gold” leaves are the stunningly bright yellow color during the fall season. These trees may grow up to 50 feet tall, with a crown (the upper section with branches and leaves) spanning up to 30 feet in diameter. Ginkgo trees are well known for being robust. These trees are literally prehistoric, having survived the epochs since the time of the dinosaurs. They endure well in extreme weather, like intensely hot summers, harsh winters, and can survive protracted dry spells. Not only are Ginkgo trees aesthetically pleasing, they provide adequate shade to any home, land, or business.
- Red Maple: The leaves of the Red Maple have 3 primary lobes. They have a slightly red appearance. When the fall arrives, the spectacle of those leaves is amazing. They are a fiery, glowing, bright red hue, which is almost breathtaking. Imagine a peacock reincarnated as a tree. Its scientific name is “Acer Rubrum.” The Latin translation means “scarlet Maple,” or simply “red Maple.” This tree pushes upward into the sky up to 50 or 60 feet, and can be upwards of 30 feet in width (crown). The Red Maple flourishes in highly wet environments, so it is better to plant them in non-salty ground.
- River Birch: Wildlife tends to love River Birch trees. However, if you plant this tree near decks, patios, etc., remember that it likes to shed leaves, petals, and other debris. As a result, it can be higher maintenance (removal of the debris). The bark of River Birches is cinnamon in color. It is superior to the White Birch, which can be prone to disease. Make sure to water these trees generously in hot, dry weather. They enjoy acid rich soil that is high in moisture. Some folks underestimate how immense the River Birch can become, so bear this in mind if you wish to plant them near a house or other structure. Make sure there is enough space for the tree to thrive.
- Freeman Maple (Autumn Blaze): This tree is yet another variety that grows quite rapidly. In 25 years, it can grow to 50 or 60 feet tall, and 30-40 feet wide (upper region). It has a high tolerance for oppressively elevated temperatures, wind, and damp soil. That being said, it doesn’t like salty places. The limbs of the Autumn Blaze are very strong. For a variety of reasons, it makes a wonderful shade tree. This is a hybrid tree. It has the natural beauty of the Red Maple, as well as the strength of the Silver Maple.
- White Oak: Like several of the above-mentioned trees, the White Oak is a native of Pennsylvania. This tree is a hardwood that can grow up to 80 feet in height, and perhaps more in width. It is a giant in contrast to the others in this list. Why is it called the White Oak? The bark of this tree is light gray in color. Its leaves have sharp lobes. The leaves are glistening green in color until fall comes. They become russet red in the fall season. The White Oak generates enormous amounts of acorns, so be aware of this if planting it near a home. The animals adore this tree for its copious acorn production. For humans and other creatures, it furnishes a very impressive amount of shade. Scientific name: Quercas alba.