With energy costs on the rise, more and more people are looking for creative ways to lower energy bills. While properly insulating your home and upgrading the windows are both effective efforts, one area of potential savings is often overlooked: shade.
The Effect of Shade
Dark colored roofs and driveways absorb the sun’s heat. Homes without adequate shade effectively turn into ovens on a hot summer afternoon. Temperatures in the shade can be up to twenty-five degrees cooler than areas in direct sunlight. Planting fast-growing shade trees is an effective way to shelter your home from the heat of the sun. One study estimates that effectively planting shade trees can lower a home’s energy costs by up to 12%.
The Best Trees to Plant
There are several trees that can be strategically planted to shade one’s home. But deciduous trees like the maple trees we sell at Caledon Treeland are best suited to planting for shade. This is because the trees’ leaves provide shade in the summer, and fall off in the autumn and allow more direct exposure to sunlight during the winter. The extra sunlight in winter helps save on heating costs.
The Best Places to Plant
To provide shade from the morning and afternoon sun, plant trees along the east and west sides of the home. A combination of shorter and taller trees is the best approach. The lower branches on shorter trees will provide shade from the early morning and late afternoon sun when the sun is low on the horizon. The taller trees will provide shade when the sun is at a higher angle in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
Plant larger trees on the south and southwest sides of the home to provide summertime shade for the roof during the hottest part of the day. These trees’ crowns should be large and high to provide ample shade for the roof. Smaller trees are not recommended because they will provide an overabundance of shade in the winter.
It is also important to provide distance between trees and the home or driveway. Planting trees too close can cause problems with tree branches or its root system. To avoid problems, trees should be planted no less than half the distance of their crown’s mature width. If a crown’s mature width is fifty feet, the tree should be planted at least twenty-five feet from the home or driveway.
For assistance in effectively planting fast-growing shade trees, or for information about maple trees for sale at Caledon Treeland, contact us today at (905) 880-1828. We would be delighted to assist you.