Energy Saving Trees
Energy saving trees help our environment in many ways, and they can help you save money too. According to studies by the U.S. Department of Energy and many utility companies, proper planting of trees in the landscape can save 25% to 30% of your heating and cooling costs.
Planting an evergreen screen on the North and Northwest side of your home will help block the coldest winds and help reduce the energy needed to heat your home in winter. Staggering your planting instead of planting in a straight line will give you a more effective windbreak.
Some good evergreen screening choices include Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandi) in mild to moderate climates, and Wichita Blue Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum 'Wichita Blue') in colder climates. Both are easy to grow, relatively pest free, and make a great screen.
Using deciduous tree varieties (the kind that lose their leaves in winter) on the South and Southwest sides of the house provide shade in the summer, reducing the demand on your air conditioner. In the winter, these same varieties will allow the warmth of the sun to shine through helping to warm your home naturally.
Some nice deciduous choices include many of the Oaks like Shumard Red Oak (Quercus shumardi) and Pin Oak (Quercus palustris); Red Maple varieties like October Glory (Acer rubrum 'October GLory'); and Raywood Ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa 'raywood'). All of these varieties will also provide you with nice fall color, as well as leaves to help with your composting.
Plan your landscape so that your trees save you energy and money. Just remember to plant the evergreen ones to the North, deciduous varieties on the South. This is a great way to have a big impact on your green living.
Learn more about landscaping ideas here
Learn more about conserving energy here
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