It’s May, so you know what that means? We’re on the cusp of summer! While summertime is treasured by many in the way it brings about vacations, beach days and pool parties, it’s also dreaded for its extremely high temperatures. When days are reaching highs of 98 and it feels like 108 outside you’re tempted to just stay indoors with your A/C. Summer is more fun when you’re outdoors enjoying the fresh air! So how do you beat the heat? Shade trees!
Shade Trees to the Rescue
We can all agree that temperatures feel much cooler within the shade. When we are outside during the summer if we don’t go inside, we usually retreat for some shade. It’s not just an illusion, in 2010 at a fairground in Iowa, about 20 volunteers did an experiment to see just how much cooler things are in the shade. Using laser thermometers they took readings on different surfaces such as sidewalks, parking lots, grassy lawns. The volunteers found temperatures would differ 14-55 degrees from the shade to direct sunlight (Farm & Dairy).
There are a wide variety trees that can serve as a shady rescuer. Here are four shade trees you can find in Florida you should plant or find to beat the heat!
These trees are typically seen as tall hedges or privacy screens. It’s a slow growing evergreen and offers year-round moderate to deep shade once trees reach a max of 25 to 40 feet.
You’ve definitely seen these swampy trees before if you live in Florida or other coastal states. The fern-like leaves of the Bald Cypress offers moderate shade. The nice thing about a bald cypress is they are a low maintenance tree with little problems with pests and insects.
Crepe Myrtle Tree:
This southern tree is not only pleasing to the eye, but also can offer shady refuge in the summer heat. The good news about Crepe Myrtles is they are fast-growing!
The mac daddy of shade trees is of course, the oak trees. Oaks have the capability of living several years and growing tall and wide to offer a massive amount of shade. You can find oak trees all over central Florida. Chances are if you find yourself standing under shade this summer, look up and you will most likely find an Oak Tree.
Having a tree in your yard isn’t just a solution for staying cool in sweltering temperatures. It can also provide homes and food for birds, squirrels and other small creatures as well.