Monday, December 22, 2008

Saving Energy Resources in Oregon Through the Planting of Trees

People are trying many different methods to save on energy costs. Some people try resources like new, more energy efficient appliances or turning down the heat in the winter and the air conditioning in the summer. Some people turn to alternative energy resources like solar power. Turning off lights and unplugging appliances when they are not in use are two other popular methods for saving on energy costs and in turn saving on energy resources. A great resource that people in Oregon are using, though, is trees.

Mature, well-placed trees can help to cut back on energy bills. During the winter, trees can be a great resource as they block out Oregon's frosty winds. Evergreen trees like Douglas-firs or cedars can act as great windbreaks on the north side of buildings during the winter. Evergreens keep their foliage all year and their foliage can extend all the way to the ground. These trees can act as a barrier for your house from the wind.

Trees are also a great energy saving resource during the summer. When near a home or other building, trees can bring summer temperatures down up to 20 degrees. This helps to reduce the need for air conditioning and makes non-air conditioned homes more comfortable. Three large trees planted around a home where air conditioning is used can bring the air conditioning costs down as much as 30%. Planting trees can also reduce local air temperatures, making the outside temperature more bearable during the summer.

When trying to decide what type of tree is best to help with your family's energy bills, a deciduous tree is a good option. Deciduous trees will lose their leaves in the winter. During the summer, their leaves will give your house shade, helping your home to stay cooler while helping to save on the energy bills caused by overuse of the air conditioning system. During the winter, they let in some sunlight and can help to insulate your home as they keep the cold out and the warm in.

A savings of energy costs is not the only benefit of having trees near your home, though. They will provide other resources for you as well as your community. Trees and other vegetation can help to improve air quality. They can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve the community's livability. For Oregon residents thinking of selling their property, trees will also help to increase their home's property value.

Before planting trees near your home, though, there are a few things that people should consider. This great resource can become a burden if planted too close to the home. Trees that are going to reach a medium to large height should be placed roughly 15 to 20 feet from the house so as to provide the needed shade and wind protection for the home without the worry of them later harming the structure of the home. When possible, hard surfaces around your home should also be shaded. Protecting driveways, patios, and sidewalks will make travel outside of your home more comfortable as well.

Gretchen Vuvalgee shares information with homeowners. Check out:

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