Shady Behavior Around Your House

There are several energy-saving practices you can implement in your landscape.  After all, conservation in the landscape doesn’t just have to be about saving water.  A simple element that can be used to save you on your energy bill is shade.

Shade can be your best friend in the summer time, but an enemy in the winter.  The idea is to be creative and come up with ways to shade in the summer, but not in the winter.

Obivously, you can use retractable awnings and other such items to provide shade, but this can also be done with plantings.  Deciduous trees tend to provide a dense shade in the summer and less shade in the winter. 

Selecting the correct trees can magnify the effects of using deciduous trees to shade.  Some trees inherently have more branches and structure to them.  These trees will lose their leaves, but still shade the structure some because of the branches. 

The idea is to select trees for you Outdoor Living Spaces and flower beds with less branching and structure.  A couple of great options are the Staghorn Sumac and the Kentucky Coffee Tree.  When the leaves fall from these trees, they are left quite barren because of their natural growth habits.

I should also note that it is best to plant to shade the southern and western exposures since those are the parts of the structure that receive the most heat.  Also, when planting, make sure you plan for the mature size of the tree and plant far enough away that the tree doesn’t grow into the house, but still shades the structure from bottom to top.

Shading your home should reduce the energy cost to cool your home in the summer time.  You should see the benefits as your tree matures in size to fulfill its intention.

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