Privacy, shade, cooling, and beauty and all for the price of, oh wait, its free.
Trees need no introduction we’ve all played in them, swung from them, occasionally carved initials in them, and most definitely enjoyed their shade. We all know how adding trees to your garden can be beautiful and attract local wildlife whilst providing that ever important privacy from your neighbours. Did you know though that trees play a key role in reducing home energy costs? This is due to when trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and other polluting particles in the air, through photosynthesis they store the carbon and emit clean oxygen. As well as, producing the oxygen that we breath, whilst keeping the air clean, they can also provide us with shade - through shade tree landscaping we reduce our energy bill allowing savings on heating and air conditioning.
I recently discovered a non-profit organisation called The Arbor Day Foundation who plant trees and educate people around the world about the different ways in which trees can help improve climate change and the environment. They provide a variety of information about how tree’s providing shade can help play a role in the environment and make positive changes.
Today I am going to share some of the various ways in which shade tree landscaping can help the planet as well as home energy conservation.
How trees for shade can provide good home energy conservation
- Neighbouring areas with well – shaded streets can be up to 6 - 10 °C cooler than streets that don’t have good shade from trees.
- Tree’s that are correctly placed around a building by a landscaper can reduce air conditioning costs by 30 % and can ever saving heating costs of up to 20 – 50 %.
- Did you know that one acer of forest can absorb up to six tons of carbon dioxide, and then emit four tons of oxygen. Which is enough to meet the annual need of 18 people. Which would mean one person, ie, me or you, would need 15m2 of forest to offset daily living.
- Just three trees, planted around the house correctly can reduce energy costs up to 30 %.
- If you were to plant a tall tree for shade on the west side of your home, your energy bills could be 3% less in five years and in 15 years you could be looking up to saving nearly 12% annually.
- You’ll be surprised to learn that in America there are about 60 – 200 million spaces along the streets of America where tree could be planted. This would mean that tree could absorb over 33 million tons of CO2 a year and you are looking at over £2.86 billion pounds saved in energy costs.
- Planting tree’s also means we can improve our water quality, which leads to less surface run off and erosion. Which means more recharging of the ground water supply. These wooded areas will help prevent the transport of chemicals and sediment into streams.
- Tree can be an incitement to economic development, by attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, flats will be taken up for rent more quickly due to tenant wanting to stay longer in the property.
- Landscaping with tree can increase your property value by 20 %.
For the Cooling Shade of Summer
Consider using tree for shade over your patio, driveway, and pavement. By doing this you can cool the concrete down and even cool the temperature of the garden down. Planting big trees for shade on the northwest, east and west side of your house can create shade for your home on a hot summer day. Which trust me you’ll be grateful for when those heat waves start arriving. If you have air conditioning you could reduce your costs by 35%.
The Winter Warmth
As the sun is lower on the southern horizon in winter. I would recommend avoiding planting evergreen trees on the south side of your home, so that they don’t block that lovely winter sun on that crisp winter morning. Consider planting a row of conifer trees on the north or northwest side of your home to create a wall against those cool winter winds. This could reduce your heating bill by 30 %.
So, there are some amazing biophilic benefits tree can provide us with through shading. Trees in your garden are more than just your one part of mother nature, they’re also key to reducing your energy costs.