Landscaping Tips and Tricks
Did you know that properly selected and planted trees can help you save energy? If you’re planning to do some landscaping around your home and yard, review the following tips to maximize your energy savings:
- Plant evergreen trees (species that remain green year-round, such as pine and spruce trees) on the north and west facing sides of your house away from power lines. These will help provide shelter from the cold and winter winds, meaning your home heating system won’t have to work as hard to keep your home heated. Deciduous shrubs and perennial plants can also assist with providing a windbreak.
- Plant deciduous trees (species that seasonally shed leaves) on the west and south facing sides of your house away from power lines. Since these types of trees lose their leaves in the winter, sunlight will be able to pass through and help with heating your home. Meanwhile, in the summer, they can provide shade to reduce solar heat gain and reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Low-growing evergreen shrub species can be planted beside basement walls to help insulate your home’s exterior. Planting them tightly spaced together will help keep the warmth in, and the cold winter winds out. Remember to plant shrubs a good distance away from your foundation.
- Improve your heat pump or air conditioner’s efficiency by planting shrubs to shade the
exterior portions of either unit. Leave at least 2-3 ft between the shrubs and your unit to allow for proper air flow, and prune any branches that start to creep too close to your unit.
- Hardscaping is another way to help save energy. Hardscaping refers to using structures (such as fences, retaining walls, canopies, trellises and more) to keep the heat off your home and the snow and wind away in the winter. Consider a combination of both!
Note: We always recommend planting species that are native to PEI, but the best species for your yard will vary based on your location, the size of your lot and the soil composition. Ask a professional for advice if you’re not sure, and never plant trees close to power lines.
Right tree in the right place
If you’re planning on sprucing up your yard, our number one tip is to make sure you never plant trees near power lines. Planting trees under power lines can result in a safety hazard once the tree grows. If you have underground service going to your home or business, please call us before doing any digging for a free underground locate. Plant taller growing species, such as oaks and maples, at least 25 ft (7.6 metres) back from power lines. Medium to shorter tree species, such as pines and spruce, should be planted at least 15 ft (4.5 metres) back. Visit our tree planting guide for more information.
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