Tree roots, and the related trees they support, are susceptible to soil compaction or change in drainage across the ground’s surface. Thus, a wooded site frequently has a greater sense of seclusion and privacy even though it may not be completely screened from its surroundings (Figure 13-12). Tree roots are the source of food, water, and air for trees in addition to providing structural support. Special Site Conditions
The presence of deciduous trees will create distinctly different seasonal microclimates on a residential site. During the winter season, deciduous trees lose their leaves, thus allowing considerably more sunlight to penetrate. This microclimate is generally more comfortable and can produce substantial savings in air-conditioning costs for houses in wooded
Most tree roots are in the top two to three feet of soil directly below the tree’s canopy; however, some roots extend well beyond the dripline. areas (also see “Minimize Sun Exposure During the Hot Season” in Chapter 3). Tree Roots Tree trunks are obvious physical elements that must be worked around in a wooded site. Many suburban lots, like the Duncan residence, are laid out on an existing site that either is devoid of trees before development or is cleared in the process of development. Air temperatures may be as much as 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the shaded area below trees than in an open area exposed to direct sunlight. Visual Separation A grove of trees can create visual separation from nearby residential sites and the adjoining street. In either case, new suburban single-family sites oftentimes have few or no existing trees to consider when creating a master plan. Microclimate A stand of deciduous trees creates a distinct microclimate that varies over the course of a year (Figure 13—10). This sun exposure creates a warming effect during the season when it is needed. 8JMMER: Hess blcdc sun – to wikTHER.: Trees perm’rt <an “te>
create a shcded, oxtl landscape, v/згтп landscape. This creates a relatively dark, cool, and dry environment below. Conversely, some residential properties are placed in wooded locations where they are partially or even completely covered by existing trees. Numerous tree roots are woven in a complex network below the ground surface and are usually located within the top several feet of soil directly below the tree canopy, though some roots extend well beyond the tree canopy (Figure 13—11).