Glenn Frey’s version of this song rocks. The extreme heat of Florida’s summers, not so much. And June is only the beginning. We are still experiencing some nice comfortable temperatures in the evenings and for a couple of hours in the mornings. But as we head further into the summer it seems the heat keeps building and accumulating until there is no relief at any time of day. And as the temperatures rise, so do our energy costs as we try to keep our homes cool and comfortable.
A well-designed landscape not only can add beauty to your home but it also can reduce your heating and cooling costs. As the sun beats down, solar heat is absorbed through windows and rooftops and your air conditioning usage increases proportionately. By incorporating some trees and other shading concepts into your landscape design, you can reduce this solar heat gain, reducing your cooling costs for inside and making your homes exterior more relaxing and enjoyable for the summer months.
Even on the hottest of days, I’m sure you have noticed that if you can find a nice big shade tree under which to relax, life is much more pleasant. One reason is that plants actively move and release water vapor. This process is called evapotranspiration and can reduce surrounding air temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Because cool air settles near the ground, air temperatures directly under trees can be as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than air above a nearby open area.
A little planning and forethought should be applied before selecting trees for your landscaping. We at JLC Outdoors can help you decide on the appropriate sizes, densities, and shapes for almost any shading application. A deciduous tree planted in the right location will block solar heat in the summer but let much of it in during winter. Evergreen trees and shrubs are fantastic for providing continuous shade or for blocking noise from street traffic.
Deciduous trees with high, spreading crowns (i.e., leaves and branches) can be planted to the south of your home to provide maximum summertime roof shading. Trees with crowns lower to the ground are more appropriate to the west, where shade is needed from lower afternoon sun angles. Although a slow-growing tree may require many years of growth before it shades your roof, it will generally live longer than a fast-growing tree. Also, because slow-growing trees often have deeper roots and stronger branches, they are less prone to breakage by high winds. Slow-growing trees can also be more drought resistant than fast-growing trees.
With over 28 years combined experience in our Planning and Design Department, at JLC Outdoors we have what it takes to consult with you on a plan for shading your home. Fill out the CONTACT US FORM on our website or give us a call at 407-595-5818. We will be glad to meet and work with you to make your outdoors cooler and more enjoyable.