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    Author(s): Geoffery H. Donovan; David R. Butry
    Date: 2009
    Source: Arborist News
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.28 MB)


    The discovery that shade trees can reduce home cooling costs is hardly surprising. Anybody who has sat under a tree on a warm summer day understands the shade benefit of trees. However, quantifying the effect a shade tree has on home energy use and carbon footprint, and identifying the optimal location for a shade tree, is less straightforward. Past studies that have looked at the effect of trees on energy use have either taken a modeling approach or have been small-scale field experiments [see Akbari et al. (1997); Simpson and McPherson (1996)]. In this article, we summarize the results of our recent study on shade trees that used actual utility billing data from 460 houses in Sacramento, California, to quantify the effect of shade trees on summertime electricity use.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Donovan, Geoffery H.; Butry, David R. 2009. Properly placed shade trees reduce summertime electricity bills in Sacramento, California. Arborist News. 18(3): 71-73.


    urban forestry, economics, energy conservation, carbon sequestration

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