Trees And Shrubs As Wind Shields
How to use trees and shrubs to lower your utility bills, as well as, what to plant and where.
The cold winds of winter can be the cause of a great amount of heat loss in your home. Especially if there are few trees and shrubs to protect it. These heat losses occur for several different reasons. Evaporative cooling, wind chill, lowered air pressure and conduction are all factors. Planting trees and shrubs stratagically around your home to block the wind could save you around 30% on your fuel bills.
There are many ways to do this but the best way to begin is to determine the direction from which the wind blows during the winter months. When doing this, be sure to take into consideration that over blocking will discourage cooling breezes in the spring and summer months. Planting evergreen trees in a row to block winds from that direction will work well. This can be done in a single row or in two staggered rows. Planting two rows will ensure that the roots from the evergreens have plenty of room to spread out. To block the ground winds plant a row of shrubs in front of the evergreens. You will want to allow the shrubs to grow no higher than the bottom branches of the trees. Again, be sure to plant the shrubs far enough away from the trees to allow root growth.
Although tree and shrubs can be planted close to the house it is suggested for best results to plant only deciduous trees near the structure. Deciduous trees will give shade from the summer sun and still work as a part of the wind block after shedding their leaves. This is when the evergreens will do their work by blocking the winds. Ideally, planting shade trees within 15 to 20 feet of the house, shrubs approximately 30 to 40 feet further out and then a row of evergreens should work well as a wind block. Before planting check to be sure that the root systems of the deciduous trees will be far away from the house not to interfere with foundation or sewer pipes. Shrubs work best if planted the distance of 5 times the height of your house of the windbreak.