What Is a Tree Canopy? A Guide for Biloxi, MS Residents

What is a tree canopy? The short answer is that it consists of the crown of a tree and the uppermost tree branches. In this post, Professional Tree Service, your expert tree service in Biloxi, MS, explains the concept in more detail.

Tree Canopy Definition

When you learn more about planting trees and shrubs, you’ll see the authors using some common terms. When they talk about a canopy layer in a forest, they mean the foliage cover of trees that blots out the ground from above. For the average person, that’s the tree foliage and branches aloft. 

Why Are Tree Canopies so Important? 

Tree canopies are important because they have a cooling effect. A densely shaded area might be as much as 45 degrees cooler than one that’s bare pavement.

However, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin, the cooling effect depends on the degree of coverage. It must be over 40% to have a noticeable effect. 

Should You Plant Shade Trees? 

Researchers suggest that shade trees may be the answer to urban heat islands, but the canopies must be dense enough to make an impact. The following trees are good options in Biloxi, Mississippi:

  • American Beech 
  • American Elm
  • Tulip Poplar
  • Sweet Gum
  • Black Gum
  • Sugar Maple 
  • Oak Trees 

Things To Consider Before Planting

Now that you can answer, “What is a tree canopy?” it’s time to start reaping the benefits. Before you start planting, consider the following. 


Many shade trees grow tall and have extensive canopies and root systems. You’ll need to make sure your mature specimens don’t impact the power lines, sidewalks, or structures.

Plant them at least 35 feet away from structures like houses and garages. Also, make sure they won’t impinge on the septic system or sidewalk. 

Keep in mind that the root system will extend at least as far as the outer canopy line. That means that any foundations or paving it runs into might be at risk. The roots can cause the paving to lift and can crumble foundations; it can also damage septic lines and wreak havoc with your plumbing. 

Furthermore, while the aim is to cool things down, you need to be careful about overhanging branches. These can destroy windows and roofs if they come down during a bad storm. 

To cool your home, plant the sapling on the south or western side of your home. Try to find a spot with minimal traffic so there’s less chance of soil compaction. 


Check the type of tree to determine the best time to plant it. Most deciduous trees do well if you plant them between late fall and early spring when they’re dormant, but you should plant Black Gums and Oaks in spring because their roots grow slowly. This gives them plenty of time to establish themselves before the first cold snaps. 

Will Your Tree Thrive?

You also need to consider how tall your tree will grow and how far it will spread out. You can determine this by asking the following questions:

  • Do you have the space for it? 
  • Will it thrive where you’re thinking of planting it?  
  • Will it get enough sunshine and moisture?
  • Is the area sheltered enough? 

Contact Our Team for the Best Advice

Now that you can answer, “What is a tree canopy?” are you interested in cooling your yard? If so, we can help you narrow down the best choices for your needs. We’ll also help with the planting and nurturing of your new saplings. 

Have other questions like, “What are the thick vines that grow on trees?” We can help with that and so much more. Call us at Professional Tree Service at 228-669-9388 today to schedule a professional consultation. 

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