What is the Free Shade Tree Program? And What Are the Benefits of Passive Cooling in the Greater Sacramento Area?


The science behind the benefits of trees never changes. Scientists keep encouraging us to plant more trees to improve air quality in our living spaces and cool our homes.

Before air conditioners were invented, humans depended on trees to shield them from the heat during the day. An afternoon nap under a giant tree was the perfect way to escape the summer heat. Today, we prefer to lock ourselves indoors and use turn-on air conditioners and air purifiers. Well, that’s great, but what about outdoor air?

Could we benefit more if we planted shade trees? Absolutely.

In this article, we will discuss ways we can team up to plant shade trees in greater Sacramento and other benefits of passive cooling during the summer season.

What is the Free Shade Tree Program?

If you’re interested in planting trees around your home in Sacramento, you might want to join the Free Shade Tree Program which is working on delivering one of the most aggressive carbon reduction plans in the country. The program was started in 1990 by SMUD, and in partnership with the Sacramento Tree Foundation, has planted over 600,000 shade trees in the greater Sacramento area.

One of the reasons for joining this program is that they offer up to 10 free trees per customer from over 30 varieties to choose from. Instead of sitting indoors the entire summer season, why not take this chance and plant trees to cool your compound as you enjoy some barbecue meals in the cool fresh air?

How Do Trees Cool the Air?

The most obvious way trees cool the air around us is by shading. The trees shield buildings from direct sunlight and infrared heat, creating a cooling breeze throughout the day. They also cool air through transpiration. The air becomes cooler as the water from the leaves changes from liquid to vapor.

How to Organize Shade Trees During Planting for Maximum Energy Savings

To adequately cool your home, you need to be strategic about the tree placement. Ideally, you want to target areas that receive the most direct sunlight. You also want to focus on shading windows to purify and cool the air inside your home.  A good rule of thumb is to place trees near areas that face the east and west. The shade created by trees can significantly reduce your energy bills and save you money in the long term.

Keep the AC compressor Away from the Trees

As you aim to plant trees around your home, remember to keep the AC compressor away from trees. The falling leaves, seeds, pods, and other debris can block and disrupt the normal functioning of the unit. Instead, we recommend planting shrubs and trees at least 3 feet away from the unit.

Top Benefits of Shade Trees

Some of the well-known benefits of shade trees include:

  • Reduced energy use
  • Improved indoor and outdoor air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced pavement maintenance
  • Promotes greener vegetation all year round
  • More time outdoors
  • Blocks light and sound pollution
  • Increases your home resale value

We Can Help

Are you struggling with the quality of your indoor air? Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning can help you get the most out of your air conditioner. For all your indoor air quality needs in the Sacramento Area, call 916-455-4548, and our team will be happy to help.