Tree-shadow patterns are something that homeowners and/or landscapers do not always take into consideration when choosing a tree to add to a landscape. Sure they consider what the tree looks like and what the soil and drainage conditions are and they try to match a tree species to those factors, but what about the shadow that the tree produces each and every day? Most of the time this aspect of choosing a tree is simply overlooked.
Why are tree-shadow patterns important in a landscape? The answer to this question is pretty simple. The homeowner or landscaper will need to be sure that the shade or shadow that the tree will provide is located where it will do the most good on the piece of property. Will it be shading the house? Will it be shading part of your already established garden that is not full of shade loving plants? These questions and probably more are important questions to answer, but before you dig that hole and plant that tree in it or even before spending your money on the wrong tree for your project.
Ok, so you have decided that you need a tree in a certain area. You have now decided that you need to see about a tree-shadow pattern in that area before choosing a tree to plant there. How are you going to see this shadow pattern that the tree will produce? There are two ways that this can be accomplished and they both have to do with the mature height of the tree. For either of these ways to work it would be beneficial to have some idea of the mature height of the species of tree you are interested in planting.
The first way to see the shadow pattern of a tree will be to use a pole the approximate height of the tree in question. Anchor the pole where you are interested in planting the tree. Now all you have to do is look at the shadow that the pole. This will give you an idea of where the tree shadow will be. Be sure to look at the pole’s shadow throughout the day and especially right at noon when it is the hottest part of the day. After making these observations you will be able to see if this height is right for a tree to be planted in that spot to produce the shade that you want.
The other way to see a shadow will be to use balloons filled with helium and strings that are cut the length of the height of the tree in question. Cut the strings for the helium filled balloon about 50′ and attach to the balloon. Now allow the balloon to rise and as it does pay attention to the shadow that it casts. You can manipulate the height of the rise of the balloon and can decide how tall a tree you will need to achieve the shade that you desire for the area where the tree will be planted. Plus, afterward you can let the kids have the balloon.