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New Program Shows How Trees Help Keep Texas Homes Cool

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COLLEGE STATION (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A new online tool developed at Texas A&M could help Texas homeowners save money and energy based on where they plant trees.

Texas A&M Forest Service officials announced the Energy Saving Trees program. The free program has a web-based mapping tool that lets homeowners compare energy savings based on amount of shade from different trees.

The online Texas Tree Planting Guide gives ideas on what types of trees would be best suited for your property based on many factors including the mature-growth height of the tree, foliage, soil type and what trees work best in the Texas climate.

The website gives suggestions on planning before you plant; landscaping, planting for energy efficiency (shade) and growth space. The guide also reminds homeowners of things to look out for; overhead power lines, tree ‘problems’ and basic information on how to select and care for your trees.

Coordinator Gretchen Riley says trees are a simple and simple and effective way to reduce heat in and around homes.

Oncor and CenterPoint Energy have joined the Arbor Day Foundation in support of the Energy Saving Trees program. Partner companies will offer up to three trees per homeowner in the program for planting in certain areas to provide optimal energy savings.

Online: http://energysavingtrees.arborday.org

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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