Do Solar Panels Work Under Trees? The Answer May Suprise You

Solar panels under trees

If you’re thinking of installing solar panels on your property, you may be wondering if all that shade from all those trees is going to prevent them from working properly. You’re not alone! A lot of people have concerns about this. But the good news is, yes – solar panels do work under trees! In this blog post, we’ll answer all your questions and give you some more information about why this is the case.

Solar Panel Efficiency In the Shade

One of the main things that affect solar panel efficiency is shade. If your panels are partially shaded, they’re not going to be able to produce as much solar power. This is because they rely on sunlight to convert into energy. However, most solar systems are designed to still work even when they’re in partial shade. So if you have a few trees on your property, your shaded solar panels should still be able to produce some power even if you have a partially shaded roof.

How to combat partial shade with inverters?

If you have a lot of trees and are worried about shade, note that solar inverters already have inbuilt technology that takes care of this. Most quality inverters come with a technology called Maximum Power Point Tracking or MPPT. This technology allows the inverter to get the most energy possible out of a group of solar panels, even if they are shaded. The MPPT Tracker adjusts the voltage to always be within the preferred input range for the inverter. An MPP Tracker helps to reduce the amount of electricity lost when some panels are in the shade or not producing as much power as others. Without an MPPT, inverters lose power from the weaker string of panels once it falls below the required output threshold so make sure yours has MPPT capabilities.

Use Micro inverters or Power Optimisers

If the shading on your roof is not too bad, then you might want to get micro inverters or power optimizers. These devices work around the problem of partial shading by getting rid of the need for strings in the first place. Microinverters and power optimisers let every solar panel in a system work separately. This way, if one or two panels are shaded, it won’t disproportionately affect the whole system’s energy production.

The main downside of these technologies is that they tend to be more expensive than a system with a standard system containing a central string inverter. So if shading is not an issue, there’s no need to spend the extra money on them.

Does Removing a Tree Negate the Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy?

No, removing a tree does not negate the environmental benefits of solar energy. Solar panels have a very small carbon footprint, and even if you remove a tree to install them, the solar panels will still offset far more carbon emissions than the tree would have over its lifetime.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that solar panels only need direct sunlight for a few hours a day to work properly. This means that even if you do have to remove a tree to install your solar panels, the shade from the remaining trees will not significantly impact their efficiency.

Cutting down trees to improve solar panel efficiency

As we previously discovered, cutting down a tree to install a solar panel has a net beneficial environmental effect. Of course, many homeowners may get by with just trimming the tree; they don’t have to totally destroy it, allowing you to improve your overall net positive impact even more.
Because they reside in a heavily wooded area, some individuals have passed on solar energy due to its lack of availability. You can, however, guarantee that your solar panels are exposed to maximum sunlight throughout the year by making just a few minor adjustments – you may not even notice the loss of a little tree or limb.

Modern solar panels are more efficient than previous models

A lot has changed in the solar industry in the last few years. The best solar panels from the major solar manufacturers are now more efficient than ever before, meaning that they can produce more power with less sunlight. This means that even if you do have trees on your property, your solar panels will still be able to produce a significant amount of power.

Solar panels can still be efficient when they’re underutilised. Modern solar panel technology enables solar panels to perform well even in challenging situations. A contemporary solar panel may generate more energy from 4 hours of direct sunshine than an antique solar panel would from 12 hours of direct sunshine. Not only that but modern solar panels are also better at reducing glare from direct sunlight so that your neighbours aren’t annoyed. Don’t forget to give your solar panels the best chance of success by choosing the correct direction for their installation.

Trees won’t have leaves all year round

Another important factor to consider is that trees don’t have leaves all year round. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, your solar panels will actually get more direct sunlight than they would in the summer. This means that even if you do have trees on your property, they won’t block sunlight from reaching your solar panels for a large portion of the year.

Remove debris from your solar panels

Even if you don’t have trees on your property and your solar system isn’t partially shaded, it’s important to remove debris from your solar panels regularly so that your solar output can be maximised. This includes leaves, branches, and even pollen. If these things build up on your solar panels, they can block sunlight and reduce the amount of power your solar panels are able to produce.

You should also regularly check your solar panels for dirt and dust. These can also reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches your solar cells, and they can also cause your solar panels to overheat.


If you’re considering solar and you have trees on your property, don’t worry! There are a few different options available to you that will allow you to get the most out of your investment. With modern technology, solar panels can still produce a lot of power, even if they’re not in full sun. Contact the solar installers from Skyline Solar to learn more about what options are available, we’re the local solar company you can trust!

Solar Panels shaded by trees

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