Sometimes the addition of a tree, or trees, is practical as well as decorative. Not only do trees look attractive and provide a suitable support for your hammock, but they also filter pollutants from rainwater, reduce the amount of water that ends up in storm drains, decrease ozone, and put out a nice supply of free oxygen. Not too shabby! You can also use trees to help conserve energy by shading the house in the summer, letting sunlight in during winter months, and blocking the wind. Depending on what you want the tree to do, some trees are better candidates than others.
To shade the house in the summer, plant deciduous trees where you get southern or western exposure. If possible, try to shade the air conditioning unit. After the trees shed their leaves in the fall, they'll let the winter sun warm your house.
Evergreens often serve as windbreaks to protect gardens, homes, and other structures. Ideally, a windbreak tree has certain useful qualities:
1 It grows fast.
1 Its branches and twigs aren't brittle. i Its foliage is naturally thick.
1 It develops deep roots or a taproot to help it remain anchored. 1 It tolerates drought (because winds dry it out). 1 In groups, it grows densely. 1 It bends before it breaks.
Use a row of trees to block prevailing winds. Planting a double row of evergreens is sometimes more effective.
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