Trees are great additions to a yard for their shade and fruit depending on the type you grow. Now, research confirms trees also will help reduce summertime energy use. A recent USDA study in California showed trees positioned on the south and west sides of a house can reduce summertime energy use by at least 5 percent. Researchers studied 460 single family homes in Sacramento, California in the summer of 2007. The research also showed a mature sycamore planted on the west side of a house can reduce carbon emissions from summertime electricity use by an average of 31 percent over the 100 year lifespan of the tree. The trees not only reduced the amount of energy needed from coal- and oil-fired plants, they also sequestered carbon from the atmosphere.
For more information on this research, go to: : National Institute of Standards and Technology.