A great opportunity to save energy is by properly selecting and planting trees around your home. Referred to as “treescaping,” the art of selecting and maintaining trees for a specific purpose or area, you can save up to 25 percent of your household energy consumption for heating and cooling. Tree species and proper placement are critical to energy-savings effectiveness. Below are instructions to help you in this decision-making process and steps on how to appropriately plant a tree:



Potting Soil or Compost

Mulch (organic materials)



Water hose

Tape measure

Bolt cutters/metal snips

Compass (optional)


  1. For maximum energy savings, plant deciduous trees (those with seasonal leaves) to provide shade and block heat in the summertime while allowing sunlight for your home during the winter. Plant these trees on the west and south sides of your home for best results.
  2. For energy efficiency in the winter, plant evergreens on the north and west sides of your home. A well placed windbreak can reduce wind velocity by 80 percent.
  3. Utilize the sun or a compass for determining the correct direction to place your trees.

How to Plant Your Tree:

  1. Before you begin to dig, call 811 and make sure the area is free from underground utility lines.
  2. Dig a hole in the soil as deep as the root ball and twice as wide.
  3. Mix compost or potting soil with the soil removed from the hole if your soil is very heavy or sandy.
  4. Remove the tree from its container, gently freeing its roots.
  5. If the root ball is surrounded by burlap or wire, remove this before planting.
  6. Place the tree in the hole so that it sits at its original soil line.
  7. Firmly, but gently fill the hole half full of the removed soil.
  8. Water well, then fill to the top with soil.
  9. Form a shallow basin around the tree and fill it at least three times with water.
  10. Cover the ground around the new tree with four inches of mulch, keeping mulch away from the trunk.
  11. Take care of your tree – keep it well watered for the first year, twice a week is typically sufficient.

Be sure to make safety your top priority and don’t plant near power lines. Before you dig, call 811.