Cool Shades | Trees and Their Natural Cooling Abilities By Elden Freeman
Protecting your home with shade trees is one of the cheapest, most natural and aesthetically pleasing improvements you can make. Not only will your house look and feel cooler, you’ll be saving on your energy bills and sparing the environment while you’re at it.
Deciduous or leaf-shedding trees planted on the south and west sides of your home shade your roof from the hot afternoon sun can cut temperatures by as much as four or five degrees Celsius, reducing cooling costs by up to 40 per cent.
Trees also provide environmental benefits such as reducing air pollution, providing a natural habitat for wildlife, sequestering carbon dioxide from the air and mitigating storm water runoff.
Here is a look at some fast-growing trees that will shade your home in no time:
The Hybrid Poplar is grows quickly at five to eight feet of new growth per year. It is also the most disease resistant and longest lived of all the hybrid poplars with a life expectancy that exceeds 40 years. It grows in a wide variety of soils and climates.
The Autumn Blaze is an extremely fast-growing maple with brilliant red fall color. Under good conditions it can grow three feet or more per year. It is tolerant of clay soils and drought and has a dense, oval head with strong branching.
The Silver Maple and the Red Maple are very common in eastern North America and also fairly quick to grow. The Silver grows up to 100 feet.
The Canada Red Chokecherry is a small ornamental deciduous tree that has a beautiful spring floral display with clusters of dainty white flowers. The tree grows one to two feet per year to a mature height of 20 to 30 feet.
The Tulip Tree is known for its beautiful yellow-orange spring flowers and unusual leaves shaped like tulip silhouettes. They grow 15 to 18 inches per year and can reach up to 100 feet.
The Ontario Residential Tree Benefits Estimator provides an estimate of the energy savings and other conservation benefits. Visit www.yourleaf.org/estimator to check it out.