USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics

Urban Ecosystems and Processes


Healthy urban forests have the ability to cut heating and air conditioning use, resulting in reduced costs and atmospheric emissions from power plants. Tree shade reduces air temperature and the amount of radiant energy absorbed and stored by built surfaces. Additionally, trees reduce the velocity of wind, slowing the infiltration of outside air. Research shows that properly selected, located, and managed trees can drastically reduce city and residential energy costs and lessen our reliance on new power plants. Consult the references below for additional information.

  1. Save Dollars with Shade
  2. Green Plants Power Plants
  3. Tree Shade for Reducing Energy Use in California
  4. Cooling Urban Heat Islands with Sustainable Landscapes
  5. The Large Tree Argument
  6. EcoSMART - EnergyWise
  7. Energy Effects of Urban Forests in California
  8. Energy Effects of Urban Forests in Sacramento, CA
  9. Guidelines for Energy Conservation and Carbon Dioxide Reductions through Urban Forestry
  10. Impact of Roof Materials on Residential Cooling Loads in Tucson, AZ
  11. Impacts of Tree Plantings on Climate and Residential Building Air Conditioning Use in Tucson, AZ
  12. LADWP's "Trees for a Green LA" Shade Tree Program Evaluation
  13. Miscellaneous Energy Literature
  14. Potential energy savings in buildings by an urban tree planting programme in California
  15. Shade trees as a demand-side resource
  16. Shadow Pattern Simulator
  17. Trees are Good, But Can They Solve the Energy Crisis?
Last Modified: Jun 3, 2013 10:53:51 AM