In the Pacific Northwest Fall is a great time to plant a tree! Planting a tree can be rewarding for you and your property for years to come. But, did you know that planting a tree can make your home more energy efficient? City Light Arboriculturist Heidi Asplund has a few tips to keep you and your trees happy!
Strategically sited trees can help cool your home and improve its energy efficiency. Trees have many benefits. They reduce stormwater runoff, enhance the quality of air, increase property values and can promote human health.
A deciduous tree—one that drops its leaves in the winter—planted on the west side of your home can shade your home in the summer and allow for the sun’s rays to warm it in the winter. The tree’s shading and cooling benefits increase as it grows larger.
An Energy-efficient home with two 25-ft tall trees shading its west side is not only cooler and more comfortable in the summer but, according to a report by the USDA Forest Service*, may reduce summer cooling costs by 36 percent. Remember for tree shading in our area; west is best. Consult City Light’s Right Tree Book for guidelines on planting near utility equipment and power lines.
*Source: “Western Washington and Oregon Community Tree Guide: Benefits, Costs and Strategic Planting,” Center for Urban Forest Research, USDA Forest Service