Rows of trees and shrubs that protect areas from wind and provide food and cover for wildlife.
How it works
Multiple rows of coniferous trees or a combination of coniferous and deciduous trees are planted to protect a farmstead or feedlot from wind and snow. One or two rows of shrubs are also often planted. The established windbreak slows wind on the downwind side of the windbreak for a distance of 10 times the height of the trees. The tree rows also act as a snow fence, trapping snow within the windbreak. Field windbreaks can also be planted to reduce wind speed in open fields.
How it helps
Reduces soil erosion, conserves energy, reduces heating bills, and beautifies a farmstead
Can serve as a sound barrier
Reduces chemical drift, protecting air quality
Provides wildlife food and cover
Helps to improve livestock weight gains by protecting animals from wind and snow
Will the mature windbreak cast shadows over driveways or roads, prolonging icy conditions?
Have you planned enough space for summer air circulation, travel lanes or gardens?
Will trees and shrubs in the windbreak attract the desired wildlife species?
Will the position of the mature windbreak cause a visibility hazard for drivers or divert snow where it is not wanted?
Preferred planting time is fall or early winter.
Plant trees on the windward side of the area to be protected; extend rows 50 feet beyond that area.
Do not plant where trees will cast a shadow and prolong icy road conditions.
Keep planting 20 to 30 feet away from phone or utility lines.
Plant according to spacing recommendations for selected species.
Control competing vegetation with tillage or herbicides before planting and for the first three years after planting.