Why Plant a Windbreak?
Def: A thing, such as a row of trees or a fence, wall, or screen, that provides shelter or protection from the wind
A windbreak is a tall, dense continuous wall of vegetation. The height of the windbreak determines how far the wind protection extends, and the density determines the degree of protection. Most windbreaks consist of one to three rows of trees and shrubs, depending on space limitations.
The coldest and most damaging winds usually come from the north and west, so planting a windbreak on the north and the northwest sides of your home or property will offer benefits, including:
· Reduced heating costs up to 10-15% in the winter months as the windbreak offers protection against the cold winter winds
· Reduced snowdrifts as the windbreak can act as a living snow fence, keeping snowdrifts off your driveway
· Reduced cooling costs in the summer months as the windbreak provides shade from the hot summer sun
· Improved crop yields as the wind protection allows for less soil erosion and less moisture evaporation
· Reduced sounds of traffic, machinery and animals and increased privacy
· Increased wildlife as the windbreak offers both food and cover for a variety of animals
· Possible increased property value for its benefits and aesthetics
Planning & Designing Your Windbreak
Recommended species for windbreaks, all available through the SCD Annual Tree & Shrub Seedling Sale:
Shrubs (plant 4' apart in rows and 6’apart between rows)
· Black hawthorn
· Peking lilac
· Redosier dogwood
· Woods rose
Deciduous trees or large shrubs (plant 8' apart in rows and 10' apart between rows)
· Amur chokecherry
· Mountain ash
Conifers (plant 8' apart in rows and 10-15' apart between rows)
· Engelmann spruce
· Colorado blue spruce
· Noble fir
· Rocky Mountain juniper
· Scots pine
For more information on windbreaks contact the Forestry department at Garth-Davis@sccd.org. Remember that the deadline for the SCD seedling sale is March 16- more information on the tree sale can be found at www.sccd.org/TreeSale.
This is the first in a series of articles on the various conservation practices you can implement on or around your home, property, and farm, to help save money, time, energy and other natural resources.