Tree Distance for Solar Gain

Solar gain is a product of heat from the sun entering a house or other structure by conduction on its walls and via its window panes. Maintaining solar gain, by placing a tree therefore its shadow doesn’t fall on the home, allows the sun to continue to warm the temperature inside the home, which is desirable during cool and cold seasons. Placing a tree therefore its shadow falls on the home’s walls or roof decreases solar gain and heat bills during warm seasons.

Sun Considerations

The distance a tree ought to be planted from your home depends on whether you would like to maintain or decrease solar gain. In summertime, the sun is at a higher angle in the sky, causing a tree’s shadow to be shorter than in winter, even when the sun is at a low angle in the sky. This usually means a tree may also be placed fairly near the house and allow maximum solar gain. A tree that doesn’t cast a shadow on a home in summertime might cast its shadow on it in sunlight, however, and reduce solar gain. If you would like to maintain solar gain in summer and winter, then a tree needs to be planted at a distance from the home that is equivalent to at least its winter shadow length. If you want to maintain solar gain in only summer, then it’s possible to plant the tree nearer to your property.

Summer Distance

Throughout a summertime mid-afternoon, a tree casts a shadow about as long as it is tall. So as to maintain a tree’s shadow off your home and maintain solar gain in your house in summer, plant the tree at a distance from the home that is equivalent to the tree’s anticipated adult height. For instance, a tree using mature height of 60 feet must be planted 60 or more feet from the home. To be able to reduce solar gain, nevertheless, plant the exact same tree 15 feet from the home. After the tree reaches its mature height, and the tree is taller than the home, the sun’s high angle through the summer will cast the tree’s shadow down onto the home’s walls and roof. A tree having an anticipated adult canopy spread of 30 feet can be implanted at least 15 feet from the home to permit for the canopy’s supreme width and for root growth.

Winter Distance

Through a winter mid-afternoon, a tree casts a shadow two-and-a-half times longer than its peak. Therefore, a tree that is 60 feet tall casts a shadow about 150 feet long during winter so must be implanted 150 or more feet from the home for maximum solar gain during winter. If you desire to decrease solar gain during winter months, plant the tree so its shadow will fall upon the home. How near plant is dependent upon the volume that you would like to decrease solar gain. A tree planted 50 feet from the home decreases solar gain more than one planted 100 feet from the home because it hues more of this home. Permit for the tree’s root growth and canopy spread when selecting a planting distance from the home by considering the canopy’s width at maturity.

Tree Types

The distance a tree is planted from the home isn’t the only factor which affects solar gain. The kind of tree also plays a factor. Evergreen trees reduce solar gain annually because they do not lose their foliage. Deciduous trees reduce solar gain when leaves are on their divisions, but solar gain increases after they drop their leaves.

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