How to Use Landscaping Trees and Shrubs to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

A local farm surrounded by tall trees.

Using Landscape Tree Planting and Shrubs in Greater Boston

With ever-increasing home-energy costs, leveraging your landscape design in Boston during the cold winters and hot summers can serve as a lifesaver for improving the energy efficiency of your home.

How can you use backyard landscaping and best practices in yard design to make those small differences that we all know add up over time and impact your family’s bottom line?

Before things got so high-tech and people started to simply adjust their thermostats, landscape architecture design was a common way to make a home more comfortable in varied weather conditions. Not only does it remain a cost-effective way to control for internal temperatures without incurring costly overuses from your home’s heating system or air conditioning, the same practices of landscaping trees and unique backyard landscape designs can help protect your home’s exterior from high winds and add a tasteful decor to the outdoor areas of your home.

Build a Wall of Tall Landscaping Trees

Wall of evergreen trees for shade and wind protection.

In the Boston area, cold winter winds blow down from Canada out of the northwest. As they move past your house, they rob warm energy from the inside of your house.

Want to keep these energy thieves from pulling heat from your house all winter? Consider building a wall of landscaping trees near your home to keep the northern mistrals away. Known as a windbreak, this was a common design feature when there was no thermostat to reach for.

If you look at old farms, you will often see large masses of evergreens designed to shelter the house from cold winter winds.

First, determine which is the northwest side of your house. Then talk with a Boston landscape designer to help plan and build a windscreen out of tall evergreens such as Norway spruce, western red cedar, or Canadian hemlock, which are often the best evergreen trees for landscaping. Incorporating these trees into your landscape design will stop the wind from sucking energy from your house and draining your heating budget.

Be Cool in the Summer With Landscaping Shrubs for Shade

When things get toasty in the summer, why not use an old-fashioned way to stay cool and mitigate costs for air conditioning at the same time?

Look at older homes and you will most certainly find large shade trees planted on the south side of the house. The shade from the trees keeps the house cool in the hot summer months and lowers the cooling costs of air conditioning.

Trees like sugar maples were commonly used for this purpose (and farmers could get pancake syrup too!).

By including trees and shrubs as part of your Boston backyard landscape design, you can not only improve cost efficiencies for your home but also make patio and backyard gatherings more enjoyable on those hot and sunny days. The dense leaf canopy of one or more trees makes things more comfortable in the summer.

In the winter, when the leaves drop, shade trees such as maples allow warming sunlight to heat the house.

Landscape Design for Creating a Wind Tunnel

If you have the space in your yard, you can use plants to accelerate wind speeds around your home and deliver nice summer breezes to your house.

In the Boston area, the summer wind comes from the southwest. Using trees and shrubs as part of your landscape installation in the Boston area, you can create an opening that is shaped like a funnel. The wide part will capture the summer breezes and bring them through the funnel. As the funnel narrows, the wind will accelerate increasing its cooling effect on your home.

This will create moving air to make you more comfortable as you sit on your patio in the hot days of August. It will also allow cooling breezes to come through your open windows on the southwest side of your home.

Stay Warm or Cool With a Trusted Boston Landscaper

At Land Design Associates, we have been helping families use landscape elements to improve their lives for more than 25 years. If you want to beautify the exterior of your home and improve energy efficiency for your Boston house during the winter or summer months with trees and shrubs for landscaping, talk to us to build your dream yard.