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There are two basic types of trees: deciduous and coniferous. Deciduous trees have many leaves that offer shade in the summer months, but lose their leaves in the winter months. Coniferous trees provide year-round shade and protection from the sun’s rays, but are often more difficult for people to gather under. Dense trees screen out about 80 percent of the sun’s rays.
Tress can be low cost to purchase and can even decrease air-conditioning energy costs for buildings. Check with your power utility to see if they provide low cost or free shade trees. Learn more about selecting and planting trees in Colorado from the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. Their resources can help you identify large deciduous shade trees, and can help you determine the best places to plant them for energy conservation.