Trees: Nature’s Air Conditioners
The last few weeks have given us a preview of the summer temps to come.
Although a welcome change after a long winter, some of those days already have us looking for a nice cool spot to relax in and enjoy the weather. A great place to start is in your own yard. There are many things you can do in the garden to create an oasis from the intense summer sun.
Trees, trees, and more trees. Trees are nature’s air conditioners, they can cool the feel of the air around and underneath them by up to 10 degrees. Large trees that shade your house can also help improve the efficiency of your homes cooling system.
Trees can be planted almost any time of year, if you can dig a hole then you can plant a tree. Although bareroot trees only work in the spring and late fall, the potted trees and shrubs in the nursery can be planted throughout the summer. The best time to plant a tree was yesterday.
A pergola over your patio or deck can also help create a filtered to full shade area to enjoy throughout the hot summer months. Depending on the amount of shade desired, you can use evenly-spaced wood slats across the top for a filtered shade, or a full-covered roof or canvas top to give a full shade effect. Pergolas come in all shapes, sizes and materials from natural rough cedar to maintenance-free vinyl and aluminum.
The last way to keep cool over the summer is water. Not just drinking water and swimming, but the sound of running water can create a cooling effect. By installing a water feature in your garden, you can create a calming and cooling atmosphere. Water features can be anything from a simple fountain to an elaborate waterfall and or pond. So, relax under your favorite tree, have a picnic under the pergola and listen to the running water while the warm summer days pass by.
Originally published in the Argus Leader on May 22, 2017.