Using Trees at Home to Control Temperature

We all know that trees are an important part of the environment. They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, turning it into oxygen, thus combating climate change. An acre of healthy adult trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 that your car produces after being driven 26,000 miles! They act as filters, cleaning pollutants from the air we breathe, trapping particles in their leaves and bark.

At Honey Hollow, we teach a lot about healthy watersheds. When it rains, trees act as a buffer, slowing rainfall and easing runoff. This not only helps prevent erosion, but also helps in keeping pollutants from entering our waterways. Trees also act as a sponge, soaking up rainwater and recharging ground supplies. The shade they create also helps slow evaporation and through transpiration, they return needed moisture to the atmosphere. Perhaps my favorite use for trees are as educators. A tree can be both teacher and playground. As a kid I even considered some of the trees in my yard as friends, they were always there when I needed them. I could go on and on and probably not run out of uses for trees until sometime next week.

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Let’s talk about the impact trees have on your home. For one thing, homes that are surrounded by yards and neighborhoods with plenty of trees can see their value raise by as much as 15%. But, how about this, have you ever considered using trees as a “thermostat” for your house? Shade from trees can lower summertime temperatures by 10 degrees. By having trees around your house, you can reduce air-conditioning needs by almost 50%! That is not only saving you money, but also keeping CO2 and other pollutants out of our environment. Cold winter winds come out of the north and west. Trees and shrubs planted nearby on these sides of your house can break up winds and help insulate from cold temperatures. When planting, research where best places to plant would be, it could end up saving you money in the long run while helping to provide a better place for all of us to live.

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