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Shade tree at the west end of Aboyne Green, Scotland.

A shade tree is any tree grown specifically for its shade. This term usually applies to large trees with spreading canopies.[citation needed]

Some of the most popular shade trees in temperate countries are oaks, maples, ashes, lindens, and elms.

In tropical countries, trees such as the African tulip tree, Hopea odorata, and some Erythrina species are often planted as shade trees.[1]


There are a few factors to consider when choosing a shade tree: deciduousness, coverage, longevity, and the ability of the roots to damage foundations.

Shade trees can enhance the privacy of a garden, patio, or back yard, by obstructing the view of outsiders. A disadvantage is that in cool climates, an abundance of shade trees may lead to a dank environment in any nearby buildings or gardens.

Shade trees must not be planted near chimneys as flying fire sparks can ignite tree branches which could cause rapidly expanding fires.

Planting shade trees around a home can also reduce the energy that homeowners use in the summer months. Planting shade trees in locations near a home air conditioner can keep the air conditioner cooler which helps it run more efficiently, so less energy is used.[2]

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