This weekend I was riding around town and started to look around, observing how people use trees and, I would argue, love trees. Not only did I see beautiful trees and big trees, but I also noticed how people were attracted to the shade of trees. I know there are thousands of reasons people love trees, with shade being a prominent one.
- The shade of trees creates a cool place to sit. There was the Festival of Virginia Fiddling at Byrd Park this weekend. I noticed that groups of players did not assemble in the open fields, but instead gathered under the shade of a tree.
- There is a bike parking rack at Triple Crossing at Fulton Hill under the shade of a red oak tree. In addition to a nice cool place to park your bike, it’s also a pleasing place to hang out and talk before continuing on your ride.
- I remember reading an article one time that said shaded road asphalt lasts longer than asphalt in the open sun; although I have not cited articles, I believe this to be true.
- When it gets really hot on a bike ride, I notice the wooded trails are more pleasant. I find myself riding on shaded streets or at least the shady side of the street.
- Just last week I had a client tell me about how much he loved the shade on his pool. Although there may be more debris from trees, I hear the shade keeps the pool cooler in the summer.
- Parking spots with shade are usually taken up before the rest of the parking lot fills up.
- Grass is cooler to sit on in the shade vs the hot grass in an open lawn.
- Walking dogs in the shade is much cooler. Especially for sensitive paws.
- Leaf patterns in the shade of trees move with the wind and are fun to watch; this past weekend I noticed really cool patterns from the shadows of pawpaw leaves.
- Shaded spaces are great places to find fungi and other organisms that prefer cooler soil.
If you’d like to learn more details of tree shade, check out James Luggan’s article posted a few weeks ago: Keep it Cooler in the Trees