If your property is unprotected on an open plain or in a clearing, your home can get buffeted by the winds. Not only is this uncomfortable to live with, it can also be dangerous to your roof. A living windbreak of trees is one of the better and more attractive ways that you can solve this issue. The following tips can help you plant such a windbreak.
Tip #1: Get the right trees
As a general rule you will want to go with conifers for your windbreak. This is because they provide ample obstruction to the wind year-round since they keep their needles through winter. Thuja, poplar, and arborvitae are popular choices because they tend to grow straight and tall, with even branching and needle coverage from tip to near ground level. They also have a nice form on their own, so pruning is rarely, if ever, necessary.
Tip #2: Know the prevailing wind
Chances are you won't want to go to the expense or time of completely surrounding your property in trees. Instead, learn from which direction the prevailing seasonal winds come from, and how severe they are. For example, if high winter winds tend to be from the north, while high spring winds are from the east, only place a windbreak on the north and east side of the home. Gentle summer southern winds won't need blocked, since you will likely welcome the breeze on hot days.
Tip #3: Manage the planting distance
You want to place windbreaks close enough so they successfully prevent the full extent of the wind from reaching your home, but you don't want your house in harms way if the wind were to knock down a tree. To achieve this, place the windbreak at a distance from the house that equals at least the height of the tree, but no more than twice the tree's height. This way your home is out of harm's way but the trees are still close enough to provide successful blocking.
Tip #4: Consider a staggered planting
If heavy snow is also a concern, consider staggering the planting. Plant two rows of windbreak trees, offsetting the rows so that the trees in the second row are lined up with the gaps between the trees in the first row. The second row of trees will double as a snow block for any snow that manages to blow between the first row of trees. This can help prevent heavy drifts from piling up against your house.
For more help with planting windbreak trees, contact a planting service in your area.