Creating wind blocks with trees – how to make it happen

The connection between man and nature is there for all to see. One of the safest places we feel is close to a tree, whether as shelter from the rain or the sun. Trees help us understand our landscape and can provide something that helps us shield from the weather conditions we live in. As a break from the wind, trees can be put to efficient use and this is most evident when planning and designing homes.

An all-year-round solution

You may think that the sole use of a windbreak made from trees would be in the winter months to keep the harsh winds at bay and provide some respite from the cold. But it can have an impact all of the year. A tree windbreak can help to keep the temperature of a home steady across the year.

It will provide some shelter in the summer and reduce the amount of money spent on cooling costs, as much as it helps reduce heating costs in the summer. But you don’t just turn up and start planting any kind of tress in any space. Planning is crucial.

Spacing trees for maximum effect

Too close to your home and the effect of the trees won’t be felt, which seems counter intuitive. As they grow, the trees will pack together and may start to affect each other. If you give the trees space to grow, then they will be effective for a long time and won’t give you maintenance problems in the future.

Think about –

  • Shorter trees need around 10 feet of space between trees and around double this between rows
  • Taller trees need 15 feet between trees and, again, round double that between rows
  • The space you leave for the trees will be filled as they branch out and grow over a number of years

Using different trees for different purposes

There are different effects from different trees. You may want to think about the kind of trees you use, and the effect these can have. You can find some examples below –

  • Norway Spruce Grows quickly and can tolerate a variety of soils.
  • Eastern Redcedar grows to around 50 feet in height and grows best in direct sunlight.
  • Dawn Redwood is another that grows quickly but beware that it loses all its needles in winter.
  • Colorado Blue Spruce takes little or no maintenance and has a distinctive colouring, as you would expect from the name.
  • White fir is quite a short tree and you will be familiar with it as a common Christmas tree type.
  • Douglas fir is ideal for snowy climates and is sturdy enough to grow in the toughest of conditions.
  • Bald Cypress is used as a swamp tree in the South of the USA, and is another that sheds its needles in winter, hence the name.

Before you hire a landscape architect, think about what you want to achieve from your tree wind block and plan this out carefully to get the most from it. Don’t go ahead without a clear plan of what you would like to accomplish and how you can make it happen. Once in place, Charter Oaks is here to help you maintain those trees for years to come!

Good Luck!