Black Hills Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce
How To Save Energy With Trees
Carefully placed trees can provide cooling summer shade and protect your home from chilling winter winds = maximum energy gains -- cutting annual home energy use by as much as 15 to 35 percent.
Slowing the wind: For an average frame house, air infiltration from wind can cause about 1/3 of the winter heat loss.
Heat loss can be significantly reduced by planting a windbreak in the direction from which prevailing winds blow.
Where will it land? If you live where blowing snow is a problem, the drifts will develop on the downwind side of a windbreak. Be sure to allow sufficient distance between your windbreak and driveways and walks.
- Plant evergreen trees close together to create a complete wall against the wind. Choose trees well adapted to your region, with branches close to the ground.
- Maximum protection from wind occurs when the windbreak is no more than the distance of one or two heights from the house.
Keeping it cool: Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning compressor units -- it can increase cooling efficiency as much as 10%.
Working with the sun: Deciduous (broadleaf) trees are nature's energy savers. They shade and cool homes in summer.
When their leaves fall in the winter, warming sunlight streams through. Best results generally come from trees planted to the east and west of the house, rather than to the south.
- Because the sun is directly overhead at midday in summer, trees on the south will not shade the house unless they are planted very close to the house.
- Trees on the south will produce unwanted shade in winter, when the sun is at a low angle.
- Trees planted on the east, west and northwest sides provide the best shade during morning and afternoon hours in summer, while minimizing unwanted winter shade.
- For quickest shade, plant fast-growing trees close to the house, as well as slower-growing, longer-lived trees a short distance away. The fast-growing trees can be removed after the more durable species have matured.