new shade tree for backyard, tree type suggestion please

(Question)

Hello,

I would like to plant a tree which would provide shade for our backyard and cover the unsightly stump (20′ approx) in our neighbour’s backyard. The white circle is the proposed tree location. The X is where the neighbour’s manitoba maple was standing until they cut down the top of it, exposing themselves, the tree’s stump, and any shade that protected our backyard. The proposed location os an old vegetable garden approx 15’x20′. There is a wooden fence on the north and west sides of the garden, a shed to the south and grass to the east. I do not have much $ to commit as this time as we are a young family and it is a rental property- approx budget under $100. I It is very sunny in the location.

Thank you in advance for your time!

kat

(Answer)

Hi Kat,

With lots of room and full sun you will have a many tree options to choose from. If you want shade for your garden then you are looking at a long term project as it will take a few years to any new tree to throw enough shade (20-30 feet) to make a difference in your yard. But no better time than now to get it going. Be patient. Sometimes the fastest growing trees end up giving you the most trouble in the future with fragile branches and instability.

The City of Toronto’s Urban Forestry team have a terrific list of native tree species that are well suited to this climate. From that list you can see the ones that prefer full sun and some other characteristics.

http://www.toronto.ca/trees/pdfs/Tree_List.pdf

Perhaps you could start by Googling a few of those to see what they look like as mature trees.

If you want something that will screen the neighbour’s stump in the near term consider putting in a dense mid-height shrub or smaller tree like a Cedar, Japanese Maple, Ginko or Lilac.

Once you do decide what to plant please consult our handy tree-planting guide for step-by-step instructions. http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/planting-a-tree-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

Best of luck with your tree project.