Shade trees

Garden: evergreen broad-leaved trees

In the garden, broad-leaved trees are distinguished from coniferous trees by the different size of the foliage, which in the former is more pronounced, while in the latter it is much more limited. The deciduous varieties, which undergo winter vegetative rest, and the evergreen varieties are part of the broad-leaved trees; the latter are very popular because they transmit a feeling of luxuriant nature throughout the year, as opposed to the apparent death of deciduous trees from autumn. In order for the evergreen broad-leaved trees to be shade-bearing, in addition to having broad leaves, they must have a crown that develops by widening, that is, like an umbrella. Which evergreen hardwood trees match the right requirements? Citrus bigaradia and Citrus vulgaris, present in the Mediterranean with different varieties, they are very decorative and have an elegant globular crown formed by branches rich in oblong, pointed, green-shiny leaves; the fruits have been used for centuries: they are lemons, cedars, mandarins, and oranges. The modest height makes them suitable for shading in all gardens, even on espaliers.

Garden: deciduous broad-leaved trees

In the garden, deciduous broad-leaved trees can offer excellent shade like evergreens, but for a shorter period of time: in autumn the plant loses its leaves and enters the winter rest for at least five months, with bare branches for the whole period; the buds of the inflorescences and of the foliage have a period of birth and development equal to about two months and the umber crown reaches its maximum development only at the threshold of the summer period. The Prunus, of the Rosaceae family, in the numerous varieties present in Europe are broad-leaved umber trees belonging to this category: the Prunus avium and the Prunus cerasus are two varieties of Cherry of different height but both with pointed green and shiny oval leaves, serrated which give a dense and shady crown only in June, at the same time as the fruit ripens, losing it in autumn. Latifolia ombrifera par excellence, Quercus has numerous varieties including turneri, a hybrid of the ilex and robur varieties, planted for its perfect umbrella shape: the leaves persist on the tree until February.

Garden: exotic broad-leaved trees

In the garden, exotic broad-leaved trees are quite frequent: this is the case of Zelkova serrata, deciduous of Japanese origin, but widespread in the great gardens of Europe: the leaves of this tree have serrated edges and its foliage is very shadowy due to its opening and for the height of the plant itself, which reaches up to 20 meters. The Sorbus hupehensis or Sorbo di Hupeh, on the other hand, is native to China, also well acclimatized in European gardens: it reaches a height of 15 meters developing an umber-like crown composed of green or bluish serrated leaves of a very pleasant effect, because mixed with white fruits – persistent roses until late winter. Even the Prunus serrula, called Tibetan Cherry, native to western China, offers a remarkable aesthetic show, first of all for its shiny red-brown bark, as well as for the umbrella-like foliage, with narrow and finely serrated leaves. More and more rare is the Morus nigra or Black mulberry, a tree of the Far East with bushy foliage: it has irregularly lobed, heart-shaped leaves, covered with hair and sweet and dark blackberry-shaped fruits.

Shade trees: Garden: broad-leaved trees and shade trees and their arrangement

In the garden, the broad-leaved and shadowy trees with dense and enlarged foliage should be chosen on the basis of the ratio between the size of the same at its widest point and the height of the trunk free from the ground: in fact, with the same crown, the shortest distance from the ground it narrows the diameter of the shadow cone projected, while as the height increases, the shadow spreads more homogeneously, expanding. If the purpose is to protect an area reserved for children from the sun’s rays, or for the afternoon siesta, or outdoor lunch, a tree that does not have excessive flowering or fruits attractive to birds and insects will be suitable, in order to limit stings, intolerances to excessive perfumes and other inconveniences: a Quercus will be fine, of the evergreen or deciduous type, European or exotic, variety not suitable for nesting, with woody fruits and high umber foliage. It is good to avoid that near an artificial body of water or a swimming pool, the foliage of a latifolia tree causes the invasion of leaves or the fall of fruit; to better shade, choose an evergreen: a European Olea, that is, the ancient Mediterranean olive tree.

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