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Source: Jerome Dominici

Trees Can Reduce Energy Costs In Cities, New Study Shows

By Nicole Caldwell

Even one tree can cut energy consumption in cities, according to a new study. What’s more, during winter months trees can reduce a building’s energy consumption by a shocking 10 percent, or 15 percent in the summer.

The report, called, “Effects of trees on mean wind, turbulence and momentum exchange within and above a real urban environment,” which was published in the journal Advances in Water Resources, takes a deep dive into how trees are likely the best lines of defense a city can have against the chilling effects (and utility costs) of wind.

Trees can cut wind speed in half. 

Scientists from the University of British Columbia (UBC) used remote-sensing laser technology for the study in order to determine how trees affect wind velocity. First, a computer model of a Vancouver neighborhood was created. The mock-up took into account every single plant, building, tree, sidewalk and road. Then, a computer simulation ran through multiple scenarios (no trees, limbless trees, trees with dense foliage, etc.) to see how trees affect airflow from the wind. These hypotheticals were put up against a decade of wind data collected from the university’s research tower.