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Landscaping for Efficiency

Proper landscaping can help you save energy and money

(1) Deciduous Trees

Save Up to 40% on Cooling Costs

Deciduous trees and vines lose their leaves in the winter time.

Benefits: Their full canopies of leaves can shade your home from the hot summer sun and cut air conditioning costs by 20-40%. Shade trees are seven times more effective than drapes.

The bare branches of these trees or vines allow sunlight to filter through to your home so you can take advantage of some natural solar heating as well.

Planting Tip – Plant on the east, west and south sides of the house. When planting trees, be sure to consider the ultimate spread of the tree so they won’t be too close to your house. Large trees should not be planted closer than 15 feet from a house. Smaller deciduous trees may be situated closer, but no less than 10 feet from a house. Vines should be planted on trellises to shade walls and windows on the south side of your home.

(2) Evergreens

Save Up to 20% or More on Heating Costs

Benefits: Evergreens can create a windbreak to change the force and direction of the wind away from your home, reducing heat loss and helping you save 20% or more on your winter fueling costs.

Planting Tip – To create an effective windbreak, evergreens should be planted to the northwest, with the ends of the windbreak extending well beyond 50 feet on both sides if possible. The site of the planting should be at least 50 feet away from your home. A windbreak is effective for a distance of eight times its height.

(3) Shrubs

Effective Insulation for Your Home

Benefits: Shrubs can be used to minimize the loss of cool air away from the house in the summertime, as well as provide some additional protection from the wind during the winter. They’ll shield it from the wind and create a dead air space between the wall and the plants creating some natural insulation. The same shrubs can also be used to shade outdoor air conditioning units

Planting Tip – Plant dense evergreen shrubs 4 to 5 feet away from a foundation wall.

Green Yards for Green Homes

See our company arborist talk about planting the right trees in the right places for both electric reliability and energy efficiency.

Before You Dig – Call 811

Ready to plant or remove a tree? Before you break ground, make sure you’re clear of all underground utility lines running through your property. Make sure you call 811 before you dig.

Right Tree, Right Place

While trees and shrubs can help save energy and beautify your property, they don’t always go well with power lines. However, with proper planning, many of the potential problems can be avoided so that you can enjoy energy-saving trees along with safe, reliable electric service.

  • Planting Below the Power Line – Choose short trees that won’t reach the lines when they grow to maturity. A good rule of thumb is to select trees whose mature height is less than 20 feet.
  • Planting Beside the Power Line – Choose medium sized trees, 25-35 feet tall. Plant these trees at a distance away from the power line at least equal to their maximum crown radius (half the width of the tree at its widest point). Avoid trees with weak wood, such as poplars and willows, because their limbs break easily during storms.
  • Planting Around Pad-Mounted Transformers – If you have a three-foot square green metal box in your yard, your instinct may be to conceal it with shrubbery. That could be a mistake. This box, called a pad-mounted transformer, contains important electrical equipment that supplies your neighborhood with underground electric service.