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Treacodactyl

Windbreaks, again.

Seems like a topical thread...

I'll hopefully be planting up a few open areas in the next year or two but it'll be in a very windy area.

I'm tempted to get a large roll or two of the green windbreak mesh to start with but does anyone have any recommendations for good, windbreak trees and shrubs?

I know the RHS has a list here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=624 and I have a few books to refer too, but it would be good to hear any other ideas.

I'm not convinced things like small leafed lime would cope in a wind swept area but it's in my planting plans anyway. I also want plants that are quick to establish and things like sea buckthorn have taken their time to get going down here.

Gorse does well and is free, I'll try various alders for their nitrogen fixing qualities and Scots Pines and similar will go in.

Any other ideas? Something fairly cheap, acid loving, quick growing and wind resistant - so I'm not being too demanding!
tahir

We have 2 windbreaks, one is Italian alder, the other is a mix of:

Scots Pine
Small leafed lime
hornbeam
field maple
hazel
sea buckthorn

Both are doing well, we're around pH 6.1-6.5, solid clay
Treacodactyl

I should have mention poor soil as well. Laughing

Does the lime stand up to the wind then? I'm going to plant a fair bit as it's one of the trees suggested to plant instead of ash, and useful too.

I'd be interest to see some pics, if you get out over Easter.
tahir

I'd be interest to see some pics, if you get out over Easter.


How many pics have I ever posted? I'm blinking useless, no idea how Bodge manages to take so many. I'll try.

It's one of the most exposed places at ours and all have done well, Scots pine initially seem to be a let down but once they've got their roots in...

Reckon ours must be putting on 1 mtr a year now
tahir

Ours is 4 rows (N->S):

1 = W facing, 4 = E

1: Lime, Pine
2: Pine, Hornbeam
3: Hazel, Field Maple
4: Sea Buckthorn

There was a reason why I planted like this but can't remember, do you want me to see if I can find my book on windbreaks?
Treacodactyl

No need for the books thanks, I've got several to look through already.

I've got quite a few Scots pines on the southern boundary of my woodland and they're doing a good job it breaking up the wind. I'm having to plant some hedging near the base as their canopy is lifting now they're getting older.

One problem, they do provide good shelter for grey squirrels to nest in.
Cathryn

I was tempted to plant some tall bamboo here to give us some protection on the lawn. I liked the idea of the wind (or gales currently) blowing through them.

We have hedges of cotoneaster, euonymous and Duke of Argylls tree plant, all make good dense windbreaks.
dpack

the only serious one i have planted was for a 5m gap between two buildings at the top of a valley with a steep slope.it was a very windy funnel

the lowest was a large lilac which sheltered the monterrey pine till it grew up,further up was a mountain ash ,above that a birch which grew fast and protected the garage and driveway

the wedge shape seemed to work well after the first few years and 40 years later has reduced the wind tunnel effect to nowt.

i suspect wedge and depth are good features in wind breaks
Jamanda

Beech gets used round here because it keeps its leaves in winter.
wellington womble

Willow? Bloody stuff kept the wind, rain, sun and very nearly me off half of my last kitchen garden. Grew like blazes, despite regular attacks with sharp objects and resisted chemical warfare as well. I won in the end, but I didnt get it all my own way. I gather you can burn it, although I feel the poor quality of the wood is not really offset by the quantity of the stuff. I can see why it's planted as biomas, though. Worse than triffids! I'd rather have holly or hazel myself.
Mistress Rose

If you are looking for a possible replacement for ash, you need a range of trees. The combination seems to work on everything other than shade imo, as some of the varieties suggested are beech, oak, willow, native privit, field maple. I can't remember the best ones for acid soil I am afraid, as the paper I read was pretty long, and I was more interested in our conditions. I am glad to say that we have every species mentioned in the paper in our woods except native privit.

If you can grow hazel as a lower level shrub it will break up the wind well. Poplars of various sorts are usually used round here, but a mix seems a good idea.
Treacodactyl

I'm not that keen on using broadleaf trees in a wind break as they offer least shelter when I most want it. Fine if you've got room for several rows but I'd want at least some evergreens in the mix. Even trees like beech will loose their leaves in the wind, and tend to loose them from mature trees quite early in winter anyway. As it also doesn't like wet soils and is shallow rooted I wouldn't use it.

Monterey pine is on the list, it's planted a fair bit on the coast down here so seems suitable.

I did read about a useful sounding eucalyptus, fast growing but doesn't get too tall, but I can't remember which one.
tahir

Eucalyptus is prone to branches dropping. Would Thuja do down there?
Treacodactyl

I think most trees a prone to shedding branches, I wouldn't let the eucalyptus get too big as the wood is hard to split for the fire, so I wouldn't worry too much about them dropping branches.

Thuja and similar trees do grow well (I've got some large cypress on my woodland) but would be too dense I think.
Ty Gwyn

You may not like them or suit you but one of the best windbreak tree`s would be Spruce.
gregotyn

Depends with spruce a bit on the depth of soil, I thought John, but an excellent wind break and a cash crop too.
Treacodactyl

Spruce isn't my favourite tree but I was thinking of a few for Christmas trees, so thanks for reminding me.

They do seem to fail round here though, either die standing or get blown over, so I'll take them out before they get huge.
dpack

I think most trees a prone to shedding branches, I wouldn't let the eucalyptus get too big as the wood is hard to split for the fire, so I wouldn't worry too much about them dropping branches.

Thuja and similar trees do grow well (I've got some large cypress on my woodland) but would be too dense I think.


beware eucalyptus and fire ,some of them make napalm and wp look tame Wink
Ty Gwyn

Depends with spruce a bit on the depth of soil, I thought John, but an excellent wind break and a cash crop too.

Don`t really understand the depth of soil point,

As their shallow rooted,the majority here are anyway,few inches of clay loam onto hard stoney clay,others on better soil seem to have faired no different,

But i`m not in a really exposed area.
Mistress Rose

Most of the eucalyptus you buy are not completely frost hardy. I know there are some, such as the ones that are native to Tasmania that must be, but the usual ones available in the UK aren't. Holly is a good windbreak, but not too fast growing. If you plant a hedge of vitrually anything and keep it in good condition, laying it if appropriatte, it should act as a good wind break. Treacodactyl

Most of the eucalyptus you buy are not completely frost hardy. I know there are some, such as the ones that are native to Tasmania that must be, but the usual ones available in the UK aren't. Holly is a good windbreak, but not too fast growing. If you plant a hedge of vitrually anything and keep it in good condition, laying it if appropriatte, it should act as a good wind break.

Aren't they? I've seen quite a few growing and never seen problems with frost. I know they can suffer from wet and wind rock. I don't doubt there are many cultivars that aren't that hardy but I would have thought most sold in the UK would be fairly hardy? I was looking at seeds yesterday and they were all good to -15C and some -18C.

I know a good thick laid hedge would be good, but the time taken would be too long (hedges will be laid for other reasons of course).

Time is going to be very important, hence the idea of using wind mesh to start with.
Mistress Rose

We went to a Royal Forestry Society meeting where they were discussing eucalyptus as a plantation tree on one site. They reckoned it will last for a few years, but that some will be lost if there is a long cold period. They may be frost hardy, but perhaps not for long periods. I can't stand the things in the UK, although of course in Aus they are native and therefore 'right', but they look so out of place here imo.

Another name for hawthorn is quick thorn, so if you wanted a fast growing hedge with some wind protection, that is another alternative.
Treacodactyl

That's interesting to know. I've not seen a eucalyptus plantation, just large specimens around houses or gardens such as Wisley.

I agree they don't really fit in with the countryside but then neither to many of the forestry plantations and there's quite a few bleak plantations around here.

I'm note really after a hedge for the windbreak, I do plan on planting hawthorn elsewhere though, especially edible ones.
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