Have you ever walked through a forest or a grove of trees? Normally there is little light coming through because of the shade created by the branches and leaves of the trees. The above ground layer of branches and leaves forms a covering or canopy where the trees are touching, or almost touching each other. When you look up through the branches you cannot see clear patched of sky. This layer of branches and leaves that touch each other is known as the tree canopy.
What trees should you use?
The types of trees that are good for forming a canopy are those with widely spreading branches. Sometimes these are also called shade trees if they give a lot of shade. Some only have leaves near the tops of the branches and don’t block out as much light. These are often shaped almost like an umbrella and are sometimes called umbrella trees. Some people also call these wide-spreading, tall trees canopy trees.
When there are a few of these trees touching each other they form something like a bridge for wildlife. Many creatures will use this upper layer to move from one tree to another and from one garden to another without ever having to touch the ground or fly through wide open spaces. This gives them safety from predators and makes it easier and safer for them to move around.
The tree canopy is not only good for the wildlife. It has many benefits for us humans as well.
Have you ever enjoyed a picnic under the shade of some trees? By providing shade the ground is also protected from the sun and will not dry out as quickly after rain. The tree canopy also protects the ground from rain by stopping the fall of raindrops directly onto the ground. As a result there will be less water runoff and more of the rain water will be absorbed into the ground and directly by the trees. Trees are also useful against air pollution and noise pollution and will provide protection from strong winds.
There are many reasons why it is good to have trees in your garden, both to benefit your wild friends and for your own benefit. You can’t easily move a tree after it has been planted, so choose the position of your tree carefully. You can also read my article with tops on choosing a site for your tree.
Do you have any really nice trees in your yard that you think other people should plant, or that should be avoided? Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
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