It’s July in the south which, when it comes down to it, is the same as saying “it’s hot!” As the heat rises, so goes our electricity bills. With the heat of the sun beating down on your property, a little extra shade may sound quite appealing right now. Pavilions and patio covers are a great way to shade people, but what about shading your house and lowering that energy bill?
Although summer is not the time to plant new trees, it is the time we tend to wish we had a few more trees around. Before we get back into the cooler months and stop thinking about how bad we would like some more shade, let’s spend some time looking at the value of shade trees and how plant them strategically.
First of all, let’s take a look at what kind of shade trees are best for our area. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension has put together a great guide for shade trees in the north central Texas region. You’ll want to have a decent understanding of your soil’s composition as some trees that grow in one part of north central Texas may not grow in another.
Also consider that smaller trees (6-8ft) tend to be a better landscaping investment as they recover faster from the shock of transplanting than larger trees. Still, you’ll want shade trees that will grow tall enough to cast a shadow on the roof of your house.
When it comes to where to plant your shade trees, a few things should be taken into consideration. First things first, when looking for shade trees, only consider deciduous varieties as these will have leaves to block the sun during the summer months while losing the leaves in the winter when you actually want a little extra sun. You’ll want to place your shade trees on the east and west sides of your house, roughly 15 to 20 feet from your walls. Make sure to choose a tree with strong wood and branches when planting this close to your house.
Also make sure to have a tree covering your air conditioner. You can actually save as much as 10 percent on your electricity bill by simply shading your air conditioner unit! Casting some extra shade on your sidewalk, driveway and patio can actually reduce the air temperature by not allowing the concrete to warm up and emit heat.
You can kick your ability to save energy through the use of trees up a notch by planting a row of evergreen trees to the north/northwest of your house. Trees in this location will act as a wind block during the winter.
If you’d like a little help choosing the best trees for your area, contact the tree experts at Complete Landsculpture!
By: Wylee Wooldridge