If you live in the Greater Sacramento Area, SMUD’s Shade Tree program should definitely be taken advantage of. If you live outside of Sacramento, check with your local utility provider for a similar program and start digging!
If you visit their website you will find an array of trees to choose from and a phone number to call for an appointment. They will send someone out to evaluate your yard and designate the number of trees you may benefit from adding. You are able to choose from any on their site and they will help you understand which varieties might work best in certain areas of your yard given the sun, water and spacing requirements. Once you have chosen the appropriate number of trees your yard can accommodate, they will schedule a date and time for delivery and provide directions for planting. Make sure you invest in a decent pair of gloves and some ibuprofen because most of these trees require a 4’x4′ hole with a pedestal in the center. The reward for your efforts is great however, and you will have many wonderful years to come with your tree filled backyard.
Some of my personal favorites include the Chinese Pistache tree, used in many shopping center landscapes for their wonderful stature and fabulous fall colors. I love the Eastern Redbud for its oversized heart shaped leaves, and of course the Birch tree. Any variety of Maple will be amazing year round, even when the leaves have gone, and anything in the Redwood or Sequoia family will provide great color and a privacy screen all year long in addition to some noise and wind reduction. Below is a link to their site… Happy Planting! SMUD TREE PROGRAM