Inside: Planting trees to save energy is a great conservation strategy. It not only saves you money on your heating and cooling bill but it is also environmentally friendly. You use less fuel to heat and cool your home so you produce less green house gases. You are doing your part to reduce global warming and you boost biodiversity to boot.
Planting trees to save energy is a great landscaping strategy. There are many great reasons to plant trees. But, have you considered tree planting to save money? Careful live landscaping with trees and large shrubs can save you hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling bills every year. Of course, if you’re in a subdivision with tightly packed houses, your options will be limited. But living on a larger lot or rural property means your options for strategic planting of trees can save you a lot of money. Are you an environmentally concerned person? You can also pat yourself on the back as you contribute to the reduction of green house gas production and improve biodiversity. Read more about how careful landscaping increases the biodiversity around your home:
Personal Experience Planting Trees to Save Energy
I grew up in Lambton County, Ontario. For years we were surrounded by farmer’s fields and nearby forests. I remember as a young kid our dining room was scorching hot during hot summer days. It was on the backside of the house which was south facing. My dad planted some immature trees in the backyard. It took a few years but gradually, the dining room became cooler. Those deciduous trees grew to provide shade and noticeably reduced the temperature inside our dining room and kitchen.
30 years later and the backyard was enveloped in shade. Those maple trees grew large and strong. Did my dad consciously plant trees to save money? I don’t think he did. The backyard was all lawn and I think he wanted to add variety to the landscape. But based on the change in temperature, I am positive my parents’ heating bill was lower.
Strategic planting of trees can be an excellent way to save energy and money in the long term. Trees don’t grow overnight, however. So be aware your tree planting plan won’t bear fruit immediately. You’re looking at a situation of short-term effort for long-term gain.
Tips for Planting Trees to Save Energy
Here’s how you want to plant trees to save energy:
- Deciduous Trees lose their leaves in the winter so plant them where you need shade in the summer but want heat from the sun to reach inside in the winter
- plant them about 3 to 10 meters from the east and west facing sides of your home where you need the most shade
- in the winter, the leaves will fall and you’ll have access to the warm sun in the winter when you need the heat
- trees planted in the south, southeast or southwest should be taller trees and planted about 2½ to 4 times their mature height away from your home otherwise even in the winter they will block too much sun
These are the benefits you’ll reap in a few years:
- You’ll reduce air conditioning costs in the summer;
- As a bonus, you’ll maintain the incoming sunshine in the winter, so your heating costs will be unaffected;
- Reducing your energy costs will lower your carbon dioxide emissions which has a positive impact on climate change;
- Planting trees attracts wildlife so you are improving biodiversity around your home.
- Coniferous Trees keep their needles year round so plant them where you need protection from strong winds and where winter sunlight is not helpful.
- to protect your home from harsh winter winds, plant evergreens 3 to 4 meters from your house on the west, northwest and north side of your house;
- if you have a large rural property, plant larger evergreens like white pine or spruce 10 to 50 metres away from the house
These are the benefits you’ll reap in a few years:
- Heating costs will be reduced by blocking most of the winter winds.
- You also reduce heating costs by reducing the amount of cold air that seeps into your house around window panes and door frames.
- Snow will not pile up near your home as the low branches of larger evergreens extend to the ground.
- Coniferous trees also provide homes and food for wildlife so you increase biodiversity around your property.
Take note of the following! Whenever you are digging on your property you should check on the location of buried power lines or other buried utilities with your local municipality and/or utility companies. University of Florida Gardening Solutions has written an excellent article here if you want more information on suitable tree species and as well, plants suitable for small properties.
Have you just built a home on a vacant lot? Do you have a large lot that could benefit from some strategic landscaping? Why not try planting some trees to save energy and improve the environment? If you want some visual tips to help I’ve made a handy infographic outlining the best positions for trees for both winter and summer energy savings. Fill out the form above to get access to my free resource library. The infographic is in the library for free download.