Now is the Time to Plant Trees
Planting trees that provide shade will not only save you money on your energy bill, but will prove to be a long term investment that can improve the look of your home. In most parts of the country, it is good to plant deciduous trees on the west and south sides of the house to provide shade in summer and allow the sun to warm the house in winter. Use evergreens as wind blocks on the north side of the house. An evergreen is also ideal around the whole house in regions where it’s hot year-round. Distance from your house is important to take into consideration, so plant away from the foundation. Also, remember to plant smaller trees under power lines so that they won’t grow and obstruct them.
Viewer tip: In general, it is better to plant a smaller tree than a larger tree, as they are more vigorous and will often “catch up” in size with a larger tree over the years. Smaller trees also are cheaper, easier to plant and more likely to have healthier roots from less time spent in a pot. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center suggests that you consider a larger tree if your neighborhood has rules that require it or you need the immediate impact for shade before selling a home or for other reasons. Fall and winter are ideal for planting trees in the southern United States. Consider adding some compost to the hole, which creates warmth as it decomposes.
- For an illustration and video about locating trees properly, go to: http://texastreeplanting.tamu.edu/PlantAroundHouse.html
- To view trees and shrubs to use under utility lines in Texas and some other states, go to: http://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=TWC_22
- For a list of small trees to consider in the Houston area, go to: http://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=gchouston
This information is provided by The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Learn more at www.wildflower.org.