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As the scorching summer sun beats down, seeking refuge in the shade becomes a necessity. Fortunately, the Midwest is home to a variety of trees that offer respite from the heat while adding beauty to your landscape. If you’re looking to create a cool oasis in your backyard, consider planting these top trees for summer shade in Missouri and Kansas.

Maple Tree

1. Maple Trees (Acer spp.)

Maple trees are a classic choice for providing ample shade during the summer months. Varieties such as the Sugar Maple and Red Maple are well-suited to the climate of Missouri and Kansas, thriving in a range of soil conditions. Their broad, dense canopies offer excellent shade coverage, making them ideal for outdoor gatherings and relaxation. In addition to their cooling benefits, Maple trees display stunning fall foliage, adding vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow to your landscape.

Pro Tip: Ensure adequate watering during dry spells, especially in the tree’s early years. Mulching around the base of the tree helps retain moisture and suppress weeds, promoting healthy growth.

Oak Tree

2. Oak Trees (Quercus spp.)

Oak trees are renowned for their stately presence and impressive shade capabilities. Varieties such as the Northern Red Oak and White Oak are well-adapted to the Midwest climate, providing reliable shade throughout the summer. Oak trees are valued for their longevity and resilience, with some species living for hundreds of years. Their large, spreading canopies create a cool, inviting atmosphere, perfect for picnics and outdoor activities.

Pro Tip: Prune oak trees during the dormant season to remove dead or diseased branches and promote airflow. Avoid excessive pruning during the growing season, as this can stress the tree and make it more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Thornless Honey Locust Tree

3. Thornless Honey Locust (Gleditsia Triacanthos var. Inermis)

The Thornless Honey Locust stands out for its delicate, fern-like foliage and rapid growth, making it an ideal choice for swift shade development in your yard. This variety is renowned for its lack of thorns and its ability to thrive in urban environments. Thornless Honey Locust trees cast dappled shade, allowing filtered sunlight while still providing relief from the summer heat. With their appealing aesthetic and minimal upkeep requirements, Thornless Honey Locusts remain a preferred option for homeowners seeking both beauty and practicality.

Pro Tip: Keep a vigilant eye out for signs of pests like locust borers and webworms, particularly in trees under stress. Enhance moisture retention and soil health by applying a layer of organic mulch around the tree’s base. Trust Happy Lemon Tree Service to ensure your Thornless Honey Locust thrives with our expert tree planting and care services.

4. American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

The American Sycamore is a majestic shade tree native to the Midwest, known for its large, distinctive leaves and mottled bark. With its rapid growth rate and broad canopy, the Sycamore provides abundant shade, making it a popular choice for parks, streetscapes, and residential landscapes. Its tolerance to wet soils and urban pollution makes it well-suited to the challenging conditions of Missouri and Kansas summers.

Pro Tip: Regularly inspect the tree for signs of anthracnose, a fungal disease that can affect Sycamores, especially during periods of cool, wet weather. Pruning infected branches and promoting good airflow can help prevent the spread of the disease.

Flowering Dogwood Tree

5. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida): A Beloved Tree in Missouri

The Flowering Dogwood holds a significant place in Missouri’s landscape as it is THE STATE TREE! This native beauty graces the countryside with its enchanting spring blossoms, showcasing shades of white, pink, or red. Beyond its symbolic value, the Flowering Dogwood provides essential shade during the summer months, offering a cool retreat for both humans and wildlife. With its dual benefits of aesthetic appeal and practical function, planting a Flowering Dogwood is a tribute to Missouri’s natural heritage and a timeless addition to any landscape.

Pro Tip: To ensure the health and vitality of your Flowering Dogwood, plant it in well-drained soil and provide regular watering, especially during dry periods. Choose a location with partial shade to protect the tree from intense sunlight. Prune selectively to maintain its graceful form and promote abundant flowering.

And there ya have it! The 5 Best Summer Shade Trees for Missouri and Kansas!

Looking to add one of these beautiful trees to your landscape? Happy Lemon Tree Service is here to help! Our expert team offers professional tree planting services, ensuring that your new addition thrives from the moment it’s planted. Whether you’re interested in the classic elegance of a Maple or the vibrant blooms of a Flowering Dogwood, our experienced arborists will handle every step of the planting process with care and precision. Trust Happy Lemon Tree Service to bring shade, beauty, and vitality to your outdoor space with our top-quality tree planting services.