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Planting evergreens saves on winter heating costs

Temperatures are dropping, and winter is around the corner. Luckily there is still time in the growing season, as you can plant trees until the ground is frozen. Strategically planted evergreen trees can act as a wind screen, blocking cold winter winds from drafting into your home. This wind blockage means that your furnace has to work less to maintain a baseline of heat, meaning that you end up saving on your yearly cost of energy.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, “evergreens that block winter winds can save 3 percent on heating.” This means that by investing in evergreen trees, planted along side your home, you can end up saving on your winter heating bills, year over year. As these evergreens grow, it stands to reason that your savings may even gain in value, since they will grow taller and wider, blocking more and more wind.

The Utah State University Forestry Extension, “Effective windbreak trees have crowns that extend to the ground and branches that keep their foliage in winter (evergreens). Junipers, spruces, firs, Douglas-fir, and evergreen shrubs are good choices for wind protection.”

“Trees for winter wind protection should be planted upwind of the area to be protected. This will often mean planting on the west, northwest, and north sides of a building. However, local conditions like mountain ranges may cause prevailing winter winds to be from other directions,” according to the Utah State University Forestry Extension.

“Windbreak trees can be planted in straight or curved rows or in linear groupings. They should be close enough together so their crown edges meet within a few years without overcrowding. Small or narrow-crowned trees can be as close as six to eight feet while larger trees can be as far as fifteen feet apart. Shrubs can be planted as close as two to four feet apart. Windbreaks can consist of one or two dense rows or several less-dense rows.Wind protection extends downwind ten to twenty times the windbreak height, so the trees need not be planted close to dwellings to be effective. Keep in mind that snow drifting will be the worst at two to three times the windbreak height downwind,” continues the Utah State University Forestry Extension.

Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center is a full service landscape center and nursery located in Cary, Illinois. Stop in today for our full selection evergreens, now 50% off until end of season (Updated: 10/15/21).

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