How do trees save energy in the winter?

Trees for Energy Conservation April 27, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

 Winter sun helps warm things up so, when deciduous trees loose their leaves, more sunshine and solar radiation are cast on homes and buildings. Money and energy are saved by increasing warming in and around structures.  Savings also come from reducing cold wind effects and needs for snow plowing or artificial snow fences. Planted to shield structures and spaces from cold winds, tree and shrub windbreaks can reduce winter heating costs 20 to 40 percent by decreasing cold air infiltration into buildings in windy areas. Windbreaks can serve as “living snow fences,” controlling drifts near roads and buildings and too, they can help protect livestock and stockyards from wind and snow. Windbreaks can be designed to provide these energy savings for a small residential lot, a farmstead, or an entire housing development.


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