Libby quoted in Press Herald article on planting trees to cut energy consumption

The Portland Press Herald quoted Brad Libby, a horticulturist and superintendent of the Roger Clapp Greenhouses at the University of Maine, in an article about planting trees to reduce household energy consumption. Well-positioned trees can cut household energy consumption by 25 percent, including both cooling and heating costs, the article states. During winter, a tree’s bare branches allow sunlight to filter through and warm the house, while in summer the foliage prevents some of the heat and light from reaching it, contributing to keeping the house cool. Trees also release water vapor from their leaves, helping to cool the air, and protect the ground underneath to minimize erosion and help soil absorb and retain rainwater around their roots, according to the Press Herald. Libby recommends beginning with a soil test when deciding where to plant trees for maximum benefits and which species to plant. Other factors to consider are the tree’s expected mature size, the microclimate and how that will shift based on climate change. In the face of climate change, the “key defense is diversity,” Libby said. He also cautions against planting fast-growing species, because “the best trees are worth waiting for.”