Windbreak trees planted to block prevailing winds can protect your home and reduce your energy use. In other words, a line of trees positioned on the north-side of your home will disrupt cold winds and help to keep your house warmer. Here we’ll tell you what a windbreak is, how to plant one, and choices for great windbreak trees.
What is a Windbreak?
Firstly, what is a windbreak? Simply put:
A windbreak is a row or group of trees, shrubs, or structural elements (e.g. fences) that are used to block and direct the wind.Trees for Energy Conservation
Windbreaks shelter your home (or livestock) from harsh winter winds. While windbreaks have a long history of protecting homes from cold and preventing soil erosion, they offer additional benefits. For instance, privacy screen trees can double as windbreak trees. Thus, you get seclusion from outside eyes as well as harsh weather. Next, energy conservation. That is, choosing the right trees for the right part of your property can save you money on heating. This benefits your wallet and the fight against climate change. Similarly, planting a dense screen of trees and shrubs helps to store carbon. Lastly, windbreaks can improve the value of your home. While, windbreaks have many benefits, you may only realize some of these. It depends on your goals for the windbreak and how you plant it. For our purposes we’ll focus on residential rather than agricultural windbreaks.
How to Plant Windbreak Trees to Reduce Heating Costs
Windbreaks can save you up to 30% on your heating costs! There are two considerations when planting trees to conserve energy. First, use conifers on the north and northwest sides to block winter winds. Plant your windbreak 50-200 feet upwind from your home. A distance of 100-150 feet minimizes issues with drifting snow. Second, plant deciduous trees to the south of your property. In this way, shade reduces the power of the summer sun to heat your house, while letting in the winter sun once the leaves fall. Therefore, your windbreak and shade trees will provide winter warmth and summer cooling.
Best Windbreak Trees
Homeowners in Western NY need trees suited to planting zone 6. Some great evergreen windbreak trees for zone 6 include:
- Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Full sun to light shade. Medium grower, up to 40′-70′. Note: may require treatment for Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.
- Green giant arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’). Full sun to partial shade. Fast grower, up to 50′-60′.
- Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). Full sun to partial shade. Fast grower, up to 50′-80′.
- Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana). Full sun . Medium grower, up to 40′-50′.
These trees are native to our region and well-adapted to our climate. However, there are a number of western firs to consider too, such as Douglasfir and White fir. Finally, as even disease resistant trees can become susceptible to new pests, it is wise to plant a variety of trees in your windbreak. Consider at least three varieties. This will help your windbreak be resistant to destruction by a single pest or disease.
Plant Windbreak Trees in Webster NY
Want more help creating your windbreak? Let Arbor Tree Experts help. Established in Webster in 1985 we are a fully licensed and insured tree service in Webster. Our team includes ISA certified Webster arborists working to ANSI standards. We offer tree removal as well as stump grinding and pruning. Likewise, we can help you choose the best trees for your unique landscape. Contact us for a quote.