Many more of you are working from home which means your home energy bills are likely increasing. A well-planned landscape of native trees and shrubs can be a way of conserving energy (lowering energy bills) if you follow these basic steps:
- To passively heat your home in winter, use deciduous trees on southern exposures.
- To protect your home from cold winter winds, plant evergreen trees and shrubs like Magnolia, holly and pine on northern exposures.
- Shading your home will provide you the biggest savings. Plant tall trees on the south or west side to protect your home from afternoon sun. Maple, sassafras and riverbirch are all good options. (Bonus: They also provide fall color and the latter has attractive exfoliating bark!)
- Shade your air conditioner unit. You can do this with a small tree or tall shrub. Dogwood, redbud or arrowwood viburnum are great options for this purpose.
- Planting a grouping of trees on your property acts as a natural air-conditioner for the entire property. It cools your home and it intercepts the stormwater that runs off your property by slowing it down, preventing erosion and protecting our waterways.
- Cool the air around your home using shrubs that soak up runoff better than turf. They can also provide an attractive sight from within your home. Chokeberry, winterberry and sweetspire are all perfect for the occasion!
No matter the season, there’s a plant or two to assist you with keeping energy costs down while making your home look beautiful!