Now it's (finally) summer, it's a great time to think about going outside more often. And I don't mean to get a sun tan. More like, time to go outside to enjoy some beautiful scenery and cool fruity drinks (or some ice cold beers) while guzzling down your latest read. In order to do that though, you'll need some shade, or at the very least a sturdy friend to lean on.
Here's a list of trees to look for the next time you're out somewhere with a book and in need of a spot to park your butt.
Northern Red Oak
: Oak trees in general make wonderful reading companions, and this one has a bonus pretty stage when its leaves turn red in autumn. They can generally be found in the Eastern US and Canada (though not really in Florida, according to this information
), and provide plenty of shade with their dense foliage.
Magnolia: There are many kinds of Magnolia, and like the Northern Red Oak above these can be found in the Eastern US, as well as parts of Central and South America and Asia. With the Magnolia tree, you've got great shade plus beautiful flowers to look at (and smell). Wanna get meta? Read Steel Magnolias while sitting under a Magnolia tree. Ok, I know where the door is.
Apple: Rejoice: Apple trees grow worldwide! There are many kinds of apples, so mileage will vary, but many kinds of apple trees provide magnificent shade. And perhaps a snack. There is no downside!
Pepper: Like the apple tree, you can find these pretty much worldwide, too. Also like the apple tree, there are many different kinds. But unlike the apple tree, you probably don't wait to snack on its raw fruit. Pepper Trees are evergreen, and depending on which you can find nearby, they can provide some great shade.
Ash: Another tree that can grow around the world and is sometimes evergreen, the Ash tree might just be for you. I don't have much to say about these, except that the scientific name of common Ash is fraxinus excelsior and that's amazing.
Weeping Willow: Weeping Willow is from China, but can also be found around Europe and the Southeastern US. If you find a nice, healthy one, you've found yourself a great reading spot. Just don't expect any words of wisdom if you try talking to it.
Cherry: Cherry trees come in many shapes and sizes, and a lot of them "green out" once their fruits aren't in season anymore. But the bright side is you can find or plant them all around where the weather is temperate, and you can enjoy their shade even when they aren't at their prettiest.
Golden Rain Tree: This tree is from Eastern Asia, but can be found throughout the world. Apparently, it's gotten a little too cozy in some parts, so really you shouldn't have issues finding one of these lovelies to sit under. It grows up to 30-40 feet tall and ends up getting just as wide. That's a lot of shade. Bring a pal or three!
Honey Locust: Honey Locust is found in the US, and I recommend these with a word of caution: some of them are thorny. You'll want to look for the type that's thorn-free, else you'll be playing a solo Game of Thrones before long.
Japanese Red Pine: You'll generally find Japanese Red Pine in – wait for it – Japan, but they've been planted as far away as New York. Some kinds are tall and thin trees that don't really provide much shade unless you're in a grove (which is beautiful in and of itself). But others grow squat and wide, providing some fantastic shade. I'm fond of the red bark, and really the only drawback is the possibility of having a pine cone land on your head. They're mostly worth it for how great they look, though.
Did I miss your favorite sort of tree to read under (or in/on, if you're a climber)? I listed 10 here, but feel free to add more in the comments below.