Plants & Trees: Sun or Shade? What’s the deal

Your outdoor areas are an extension of your home. Planting trees is one of the ways to make your back yard a more cool and comfortable place to relax in during the scorching Australian summers. The heat itself, however, poses a bit of a problem when trying to get certain trees to thrive in this climate. Knowing what kind of conditions your chosen tree thrives in will help you decide where to plant it for the best results. When landscape designing your garden you have to take these 3 fundamentals into account.

PLANTING IN THE SHADE
Perhaps there is a spot in your yard that is shaded by a structure or, or is positioned to avoid sun that could use some large scale landscaping. There are certainly pros and cons to planting trees in well shaded areas. The good news is that they are able to retain a lot more of their moisture because the intense summer sun won’t be evaporating it. However, there can be problems when it comes to getting enough sunlight for most trees to thrive. For the dimmer parts of your garden, you may want to consider transplanting a fully mature tree that requires a bit more moisture to flourish. That way it is is tall enough to get the little bit of sunlight it needs while using the shade to maintain its internal and external humidity levels.

PLANTING IN PARTIAL SHADE
Partially shaded areas account for a lot of outdoor and yard spaces. Your house, fences, privacy walls and even your neighbours can create barriers that sporadically interfere with sun exposure during different times of the day. These areas leave you plenty of options when it comes the trees you can plant. It will give your tree a balance of moisture retention and sun exposure. Just be sure to know about how much sun that area gets throughout the day. The more you know about your space, the more your landscaper or nursery worker will be able to tell you about your options. When your tree choice is based on your space, you’ll have the best results.

PLANTING IN FULL SUN
These trees often aren’t as visually appealing as options that require more humidity, but they are reliable, hardy, and won’t be a drain on your water resources. Many trees native to Western Australia are able to withstand the intense heat and glaring sun. You may have an empty spot in your garden under the blazing sun that could use a tree, or you might need a tree to create some shade for all the other lovely things you want to plant that can’t quite stand the intense heat. Whatever the case, if you want to plant a tree in full view of the hot sun, it might be wise to think locally and indigenous. This category is often the hardest when designing your garden as trees will add extra shade and you may want to have an “open” feel in your garden. Filling a sunny part of your garden with a tree will give you even more extra shade.

Regardless of how you are constructing your yard or cultivating your open outdoor area, keep in mind that a tree needs more care than just moisture and sun. Pruning for optimal growth is important, as is general inspections of your tree from time to time to look for dead spots and disease. Careful lawn care is also crucial to successful tree growth. Be cautious so as not to damage the reticulation (https://www.thehappygardeners.com.au/services/reticulation-irrigation-system/) , or net like root systems, that many trees have. Something as simple as thrashing your tree’s relic or failing to prune a dead branch can make for a lot more work later on.

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