Living in Illinois has the perk of seeing all four seasons in all their own glory. That also means we get to brave the blustery cold days of winter. Believe it or not there are things that can be done to protect you from winter months within your landscape. We are talking about windbreaks. A windbreak is a row of trees that will offer shelter and protection from the wind.
What should we plant in our windbreak? There are several options to decide from when designing your windbreak.
- Douglas Fir- perfect for the protection from snow and ice
- Colorado Blue Spruce – very low maintenance once established with a beautiful color
- Eastern White Pine – as it matures it can add 3’ of height a year
- Norway Spruce – very low maintenance once established, fast growing, and strong
- Green Giant Arborvitae – pyramidal in shape and fast growing
Now that we know what to plant, it is time to decide where and how. In Illinois we receive our brutal winter winds from the northwest. So, on the north and western sides of our property we need to plan our breaks. The best windbreak will be planted between 50 to 100 feet away from our buildings. The length of your break should be 8 to 10 times the size of your tallest trees. Best circumstances call for 3 rows of trees, with the center row alternating with the trees in the outer rows. Each row should be 15 to 18 feet apart, with the trees planted 15 to 18 feet on center. Other, lower shelter plants can be included for wildlife as well.
What does the windbreak really do? The windbreak is beneficial to us in many ways! A mature break can block the wind from our homes which will actually reduce heating costs in our homes by up to 40%! The effects of the wind will be lessened which means less snow drifts for us to plow through, and a more bearable environment to be outside in. Not to mention the aesthetic of the break! Evergreen trees offer us color in the grey and dreary months with loads of privacy.
Contact us today for a consultation on the best windbreak solution for your yard.
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