Landscaping can save energy when planted with these strategic tips in mind. How to Save Energy with Landscaping

      Plant trees and shrubs for shade

      Tree placement can have a huge impact on air temperature and energy use. Strategically placed trees can provide shade, reducing temperatures by 20 to 45 degrees.

      Planting deciduous trees (leaves that shed their leaves annually) on the east and west sides allow for shade to cool the home during the summer months. However, during the fall and winter months, leaves will drop and allow the sun to shine down for a warming effect. Similarly, planting climbing vines and shrubs on a trellis or lattice will allow the home to cool with shade, as well.

      Make sure to research the maximum height and width of a tree or shrub before choosing where to place it. Many mature trees grow far larger than homeowners anticipate, requiring it to be removed or risk damage to the home or power lines if it is not pruned regularly.

      An important note before planting: call 811 (in most areas) at least 48 hours in advance to find out where underground utilities are placed before digging.

      The Department of Energy estimates that three strategically placed trees can save between $100 to $200 in energy annually.

      Plant Evergreens for wind protection

      During the fall and winter months, when the temperatures are dropping, Evergreen trees and shrubs planted on the north and northwest sides of a home will offer a hedge of protection for the harsh, cold winds.

      Additionally, adding a fence or retaining wall on these sides of the home can also add a layer of protection from the wind.

      Provide shade for air conditioner/heat pump

      If there is a tree or shrub to provide afternoon shade for an air conditioning unit, it will assist the unit in running more efficiently during hotter months. Make sure to leave plenty of space on all sides for the unit to get good air flow and not be blocked by grass, shrubs, branches or debris. This will also allow service technicians easy access to the unit for maintenance and replacement.

      Lining a driveway or placing trees in a pre-planned area to provide shade to a parking area can cool vehicles and bring down the overall heat around the home.


      Landscaping can save you money if you follow these tips to improve energy efficiency naturally and lower your bills. For questions about your specific home’s landscaping needs, contact a local horticulturist.

      Contact Firstfruits Landscaping for more information on designing the perfect backyard. Remember, we do everything from initial design and layout to hardscape, construction, fencing, plantings, and all types of landscape design. From plumbing and electrical to construction and landscape, trust your next outdoor project to Firstfruits Landscaping.

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