The benefits of shade trees are many. To name a few, they shelter our homes from winter winds and cool them in summer, reduce noise pollution, provide food and shelter for wildlife and bring beauty and grace to our yards. One of the defining characteristics of our town is its full and leafy tree canopy. The early residents of Mountain Lakes urged their neighbors to plant shade trees in order to reforest a landscape, denuded during construction. Today there is a renewed need for planting shade trees on private property. Large numbers of mature shade trees are being lost due to death from old age, damage from severe weather and removal during construction projects. While ornamentals have a place in our yards, shade trees planted on private property will help to revitalize the full leafy coverage. In order to keep our town’s verdant tree canopy it is imperative that homeowners include shade trees of different varieties in their planting plans. Contact local garden centers or the Shade Tree Commission for help in choosing the right tree for the right place.