Identify Sun and Shade Areas in the Landscape

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape January 06, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Path and angle of the sun in March, June, and  December in the northern hemisphere
Image source: Knowledge Publications


Sun and shade areas create microclimates in the landscape that may or may not be desirable. Identify existing sun and shade areas on the property map when conducting the landscape inventory.  Once these areas are identified, use the landscape analysis to plan locations for new sun or shade areas. In some cases, sun areas will need to be created by removing plants. In other cases areas more shade will be needed.


1.       Daily sun and shade patterns from existing vegetation and structures

2.       Seasonal sun and shade patterns from existing vegetation and structures

3.       Sun and shade areas affecting heat, cooling, and light into buildings

4.       Sun and shade areas affecting plant choice decisions and locations

5.       Mature size when planning for tree placement

How to Chart Solar Angles

University of Oregon - Sun Path Chart Programs

Missouri - Gardening in the Shade

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.