With rising energy costs, solar panels as energy alternatives and gardens that produce local food resources are gaining in popularity. But what happens when a tree is blocking your access to the sunshine? (With the little sunshine we’re getting these days.) Whatever you do, don’t top it!
Tree topping is never an acceptable management alternative to increase solar access. As a matter of fact, the regrowth that occurs after topping may be even more effective at blocking the sunshine.
If you are planting trees:
If it is your neighbor’s tree:
Solar access has become a debatable issue in Washington, and often trees are in the middle of the argument. But remember, the real key to solar access is to plan ahead before you plant the right tree. Also, be a good neighbor. Consider your neighbor’s access to the sun, and try not to plant a tree that will grow over your neighbor’s yard.
Hi Nicki: Good article! Being a landscape contractor I can vouch for the fact that the worst thing for plant material (both trees and shrubs) is to over plant. Many people want that "instant" cover. Five or so years later, plants and trees are growing together and have to be removed. What a waste.... There is no hope of pruning a tree in this situation, as they are already growing together and causing injury as the branches rub and disease and insects set in. Think ahead, know the growth pattern of the plants and trees before you plant.