How to Plant Shade Trees for the Hot Western Sun
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A house in North Carolina faces the west, so the front door gets really hot in the summer. P. Allen Smith shows us how to plant shade trees for the hot western sun.


Hi welcome to my design studio. Now this is where we take photographs that you e-mail into me, we take a look at them and talk about how we might improve your landscape. Today we’ve got a house in North Carolina, Dianna’s got some issue she wants to deal with and one of them is, the fact that the house faces west. So the front foor gets really hot in the summer. Looks like that she’s trying to plant some sort of shade here on this corner. Here’s a couple of thought, first pull a larger shade tree out like this Dianna. It would really give you some cover. Now the shade tree could be a beautiful maple, red maples grow fast, great low of color, it could be a willow oak. The leaf of the willow oak is very small so it makes all clean up easy. Now lets talk about the front itself, what I would like for you to do is think about a bed that will run right along to your walkway like this, it would come across the front and sweep around like this and think about a hedge that might come down and around like so. This will give you a little bit of privacy and it creates a bed space back here. So lets think about filling in behind this beautiful white pine with some maybe white rhododendron Denver and then pull this bench out. I’d like to see it pulled up to the edge here and then lets accent each side of it with maybe a boxwood and then repeat that boxwood that dense dark green across the front, here on each side of the front door, here and here. What I like to do is a way with this planting here because its blocking the front windows and it really is out of proportion for the front and lets under plant this with something like Dwarf Nandina and lets do the same thing across the front here. Keep it low and then fill in with a ground cover across the front like this, it could be Winter Creeper, that’s a great one that can take full sun. Dianna those are just some ideas that I think will put you in good stead with your house, good luck with the project. Would you like to see your home featured in a make over like you saw in the last segment, if so just go to and send me a photograph of your house. If your house is selected, it will be featured in the future episode of my public television series P. Alen Smith Garden Home, distributed by American public television. Also on my website you will find great tips on gardening recipes and and videos. Just check out