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It’s too hot for gardening, time to start thinking about where to plant shade trees

We’re not working much in the garden in late July. Just seeking shade and trying to stay cool. If your garden lacks sufficient shade now when temperatures are at their highest of the year, this is the time to decide where you’ll be planting shade trees this fall.


September and October are the best months to plant trees in our climate zone, but the angle of the sun and the direction of the shade cast by trees in the fall months is different than in the hot summer months. If you’re hoping to plant trees that will eventually shade your hot south-facing patio in July and August, you’ll need to find the right spot now.

Take a long pole (a rake or a broom will do) into your garden at the time you’d like to see shade – maybe early morning on the east side of your house by your bedroom, or outside the west-facing kitchen window in late afternoon. Check the angle of the shade cast by the pole to make sure that shade will fall where it’s needed. Mark that spot with a stick so that you can find it in September.

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