Solar Access refers to your home's Sun Exposure opportunity. Tall Trees and neighbor buildings can inhibit the "winter" sun from reaching your southern wall and windows.
These three floors of southern face windows provide VITAL BTUs of space heating energy during the winter. From 30 years of experience in this home I realized I over planted Blue Spruce trees in uneducated hopes to see green trees as soon as possible. Twenty years later, the trees and bushes were shading the winter and spring sun to the house. From year 2000 to 2011, I have spent about 4,000 dollars hiring Arborists to remove evergreen trees and top off trees to keep the winter sun heating the house.
TREE SHADE ON HOUSE BEFORE CUT: March 3, 7am SouthEast Blue Spruce causing shade to southeastern corner
ABOVE: BEFORE TREE CUT DOWN = House is shaded from 7am Sun
BELOW: AFTER TREE CUT DOWN = March 4th 7:20am Sun can hit house:
ABOVE: AFTER TREE CUT DOWN
BELOW: BEFORE= Feb 13th Morning Sun 7:45am Evergreen Shading basement
NOTE: This Blue Spruce at right would have doubled in size to 60 feet when full grown.
BELOW: AFTER= March 4th 2011 The spruce is cut down = Morning sun 7:00am Evergreen gone but sun is lower and still hitting basement. The remaining spruce will fill out now that the sun is exposed to it. It is located north of the southern face and will provide good eastern shade in the heat of September:
--BELOW: Blue Spruce has been cut down and will no longer shade the morning sun:
Durning March the sun has moved up toward the northern hemisphere and the 7am sun is at a greater reflection angle off the southern windows (not shining directly in). However on a cold March morning, the house can still raise 3 degrees between 7am and 8am from the early morning sun with this tree cut down.
TOPPED TREES: The neighbors to my south allowed the topping of 3 Spruces so that the December 22nd sun when lowest in the sky can still reach the house. However the tall ponderosa to the right could not be topped and is shading the house even at noon during the winter solstice. I hope to obtain permission to top it some time.