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River Birch

During the hot summer months in South Carolina one will do just about whatever they have to in order to get some relief.  For most people, the relief takes the form of their house that is climate-controlled.  But what if you are one of the people that doesn’t really want to spend your summer indoors?  What options do you have?  Well, luckily for those of us that fit in this category, there is hope.  What is this hope?  Well, it’s a tried-and-true solution – the tree.

Now not just any tree will suffice.  It’s an obvious fact that some tress will naturally provide better shade than others.  So, let’s look at a few shade trees that do well in the Southeast.

  1. The Chinese elm, often referred to as the Drake elm, is a classic. This tree can grow from 40 to 50 feet tall and will produce leaves that are roughly 2 inches long.  It will also develop winged polynose seed pods in the fall as well as blue flowers.  The Chinese elm will do well in full to partial shade and needs moist soil to thrive.
    Chinese Elm

    Great Shade: Chinese Elm, also called Drake Elm

  2.  Another great tree for shade is the river birch. This beauty is deciduous and will grow up to 98 feet tall!  The leaves on this tree can range anywhere from 1.5 inches to 3 inches.  It is called a river birch for a reason: it loves to be in moist soil, although it can still do well in elevated, dryer areas.  If the shade provided on this tree isn’t enough to get you thinking then you might want to take a look at the bark.  This tree has what looks like white, papery, curly sheets that peel right off of the tree.
    River Birch

    Great Shade: River Birch

  3. The sweetgum tree is one that many people in South Carolina are already familiar with, although they may not know it. This is the tree that drops the spiked balls on the ground that will hurt you if stepped on barefoot.  Regardless of what one may think about the “gumballs”, it’s hard to argue with this tree’s ability to produce shade.  This monster can grow up to and over 100 feet tall.  It has star-shaped leaves that can be anywhere from 4 to 7 inches in diameter.

    Great Shade: Sweetgum


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