Shade Tree questions
I'm looking to get a new tree for our backyard to provide a bit more shade throughout the summer. I did some searches around and on this site, got some ideas, but would still look for some more specific suggestions/facts/ideas from those on here if you don't mind :)
I live in Oakville (just West of Toronto , Canada). I have 3 primary goals I need to reach with the tree:
Shade for the backyard, (I guess at least 40 ft, preferably 50+)
Privacy between neighbour to the back and our raised deck. I'm not trying to get shade on the deck, I just want a partial barrier between neighbours and myself, so we can sit on our deck and they on their patio and we're not staring at each other :)
Fast/moderate growth speed. I understand it'll take a few years to get large, I just don't want it taking "too" long ;)
Secondary Goals (aka "Nice to have")
Additional things I'd "like" to keep in mind, or at least be aware of:
Prefer a tree with not too many diseases it is prone to .
Fewer typical pests/etc. Our area seems to have things such as: Asian long horned beetles, Japanese beetles, Ash borers in the area .. that I know of :) I'd rather not deal with those if I can avoid it. I would like to minimize attraction of squirrels, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, etc. : rodents in general .. most birds we're ok with (we have Cardinals, Orioles, Blue Jays and Woodpeckers to name a few) Would also like to avoid caterpillars if possible .. :) (I know this one's tough - not sure which trees are more prone to them.)
Lower maintenance - I'm not against raking, however, if a tree is dropping excessive sap, needles (i.e. pines), nuts, etc., whatever, which makes ongoing maintenance a nuisance ... I might shy away from it :)
So some more details:
Our backyard is on south side of our house, so facing on our deck south towards the neighbours, we have more neighbours to our right(west) which are already obscured by trees/shrubbery and grants us evening shade. We have a dense thicket of Sumac to our left (east) granting morning shade and privacy from the walkway.
The fence/property line is probably about ~50 ft from our house. Not huge backyards, but not tiny. I don't think we want too huge a tree, or it'll start impacting neighbours in the future.
We have a small 8x10 shed in the SW corner, some cedars lining the East fenceline, and various gardens which aren't all that "set" at the moment :)
We have encountered some minor pockets of flooding/pooling during a heavy rain which we are still building up and working on .. regardless, it doesn't seem to stay long. So during a heavy rain, pooling water, but a few hours after the rain, it'll be gone. Our soil seems to be mostly a reddish clay ... not a really good/rich soil .. just a thin surface soil, then this hard red clay.
I did some more research and found the following on some trees, I'm hoping anyone with more knowledge of these guys could provide additional information or links that might help me in my decision :)
Red Maple: 50+ ft height, fast growing, adaptable and hardy tree somewhat drought and flood tolerant. Prone to Asian long horned beetles. I only mention the beetles, at the moment, I think this may be our top choice. I think we can handle the beetles :) (I hope).
Katsura: 100+ ft height, fast, likes moist soil, sensitive to droughts. It's definitely moist in our backyard, mostly due to pooling water mentioned .. however, we're not really a drought prone area, so this guy might be an option, although perhaps a bit tall in the future)
American Linden (aka Basswood): 100 ft, fast, seeds attract chipmunks, mice, squirrels :( ... bark eaten by rabbits/voles :( (we have LOTS of squirrels and rabbits - I'm not eager to attract more of them .. lol ) Prone to Japanese beetles. Nice looking tree, however, after reading up on things, it seems alot of things we don't like, seem to like the Linden .. O.o I'll probably shy away from this one ...
Large leaved Linden: 100 ft, moderate Not sure if it's less prone to fungus and pests the American Linden seems to have ...
Silver Linden: 100 ft, very tolerant to pollution, soil compaction, drought, etc. drops buds/pollen during spring/fall - might require ground cleanup ? O.o It seems this one's a "messy tree", they don't suggest it for near sidewalks due to the cleanup required .. :)
Hickory: ?? I didn't get much info on this one - seems too many varieties .. would any of these be a possibility for me here ?
Beech: ?? prone to beech blight aphids ?
Oak: ?? not immediately fond of dealing with the acorns/squirrels :) I couldn't find immediate specs on the height and such .. and again, I'm not writing it off just due to the squirrels, yet :) This might actually be my 2nd option behind the maple, in fact.
So I tried to get all my thoughts done and all relevant information .. hoping to get some ideas, suggestions, etc ? Are there other trees might be better suited to my purposes I haven't listed ?
Worked on a sketch .. let's try adding it :)