Think that the only way to beat the summer heat is to turn on the air conditioner? Hold that thought.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, planting a shade tree near a home could dramatically reduce the heat and cool the air by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit. The Turlock Irrigation District is encouraging its customers to give their air conditioners a break and plant a tree instead by hosting a discounted tree sale.
TID is hosting its Premier Shade Tree Event from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday at 690 N. First Street in Turlock.
The trees cost $20 each, and include a planting kit for those who don’t have green thumbs. The retail value of the set is $68.
“This event is the first time TID has offered discounted shade trees for sale," said TID spokesperson Herb Smart. “However, we have offered rebates for a few years now to customers who have purchased eligible trees at hardware stores and nurseries ... and completed the necessary rebate forms with us.”
TID customers unable to attend Saturday's event are still eligible for the Shade Tree Rebate Program.
A 9 degree temperature difference from a shade tree can go a long way when dealing with extreme summer heat and arid conditions due to the recent lack of rainfall. But shade trees are not only important for the scorching summer months. According to TID, the trees can also help to block wind currents and decrease the cost of heat in the winter.
“Shade trees are another tool that customers can use to curb their home's energy consumption,” said Smart. "The biggest customer benefit of shade trees is the potential to use air conditioning units less during the warmer months.”
Approximately 300 trees are available for the event, including the Bloodgood Sycamore, the Tident Maple, and the October Glory Maple. Pictures are posted on TID’s website to give an idea of the coloring, growth rate, and fruit production.
Only TID residential electric customers are allowed to purchase a tree at the event. In addition, the homeowner must plant the tree on the west, east, or south side of their homes.
There is a limit of two trees per household, and homeowners must be the tree purchasers. Applicants must also fill out an event application, which can be found on TID’s website at tid.com/shade-tree