Windbreaks are a major consideration when trying to save money on heating and cooling costs. They also can be an opportunity to add woody plantings to your property as part of your windbreak which can be attractive to birds, wildlife, and provide food for us. Multiple row windbreak plantings provide an opportunity to accomplish both goals.
It has been established that properly placed windbreaks can reduce air conditioning needs in the summer by up to 30%. Properly placed trees and shrubs can also slow cold winter winds and can reduce heating costs by up to 15% or more. Not to mention that an attractive windbreak will also increase the value of your property.
We at Arnold Acres established a windbreak on our property 15 years ago using small bare root plants. The 4-row windbreak is comprised of different shrubs and trees. The inside row consists of ornamental trees that are attractive and provide beauty to our backyard. The next rows of trees are spruces that are very effective in slowing down the wind and not to mention very attractive in the landscape. The 3rd row from the house is pines. These pines are susceptible to pine beetle but for 15 years have grown 2-3 feet a year and have not been compromised at all. I believe the diversity of trees in the windbreak and acreage has slowed or stopped this problem but time will tell. There are many other options in your windbreak without using pines. Using a hardy deciduous tree instead of pines is a great option. The last row or windward row are plantings of shrubs that provide fruit for us and the wildlife. That row consists of chokecherries, Saskatoon berries, and wild plums.
Larry’s knowledge of trees and shrubs and his experience of what has worked for him will benefit you if you are considering a windbreak on your property. There are many options when it comes to which trees and shrubs that will work in Southeast Nebraska, how many rows to use to be effective, and how much it will cost you. Give Larry a call and he can discuss these with you and come up with a plan that will work for you.