The Fast-Growing Shade Tree You'll Want To Consider Planting In Your Yard

A shade tree provides the perfect cover for your outdoor living space and can help you stay cool all summer long. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air temperatures under shade trees can be 25°F cooler compared to nearby temperatures. Shade trees also provide lovely colorful foliage in the fall. They add beauty to your yard and can raise the value of your home by as much as 15%.

There are lots of options when it comes to shade trees. The problem is that it can take decades or more for some of these trees to grow large enough to provide shade. The solution is to plant a fast-growing shade tree. The basswood is the perfect shade tree if you are looking for something that grows quickly. It can grow two to three feet per year and reach a mature height of 60 to 80 feet tall or more. 

Why the basswood is the perfect shade tree

Basswood, or American linden, is a dense shade tree that has beautiful small fragrant flowers. This gorgeous shade tree is one of the largest in North America. Its rich green heart-shaped leaves are about five to seven inches across. This tree blooms from June through August. It is interesting to view in the spring, summer, and fall. This tree will have birds flocking to your yard. Songbirds and bluejays especially like the shelter and the seeds that this tree produces.

Basswood trees are exceptionally hardy, easy to care for, and do not require pruning. These trees provide more than enough privacy for most backyards. They grow 50 to 80 feet tall and have a spread of about 40 to 60 feet wide. Basswood flourishes in a variety of different landscapes. They are adaptable to most soil conditions and can grow in hardiness zones two through eight. You can look up your zone on the USDA website.

How to grow a basswood

With the right care and placement, basswood trees are easy to grow. First, choose the best spot for your basswood tree. The roots of large shade trees can interfere with sidewalks, sewer lines, and driveways. So plant far away from these things. Also, make sure there are no utility lines nearby. Basswood trees grow best in full sun, so if possible, choose a spot with a lot of sun exposure. If you don't have full sun, partial will be okay, although you will notice a reduction in flowers.

Before you dig the hole for your new basswood tree, soak the roots in a bucket of water. Dig a hole that is wide enough to accommodate the roots of your tree. After you plant the tree, fill the hole with topsoil. After planting your basswood, make sure you water it well for the first two years. You can apply a slow-release fertilizer once a year in the fall. Basswood is mostly resistant to disease but you do have to watch out for verticillium wilt, which is a deadly fungal disease. This is characterized by yellow or wilting leaves. You will want to prune off any branches that are affected by the disease.