Shade Trees (on construction sites)

Shade trees on construction sites provide adaptation as well as mitigation benefits at the same time in various ways. There is the possibility of either leaving existing shade trees or planting new ones.

Trees provide shade in the summer and shelter from harsh winds in winter. Correctly placed shade trees, windbreaks, and foundation plantings can reduce heating and cooling costs by an estimated 25-30%, with some estimates as high as 50%. Tree canopies keep air temperatures at ground level cooler, and when summer temperatures are cooler, fewer air pollutants form.

In most places, the harsh winter winds come from a different direction than the cool summer breezes. Placing an effective windbreak along the side of the house where winter winds are strong can provide shelter from cold winds, and therefore reduce heating energy needs.

In addition, by leaving existing trees or planting new ones CO2 is stored in the trees and thus removed from the atmosphere.


  • More information on shade trees can be found on the website Sustainable Urban Landscapes Information Series of the University of Minesota.