Landscape Windbreaks and their Efficiency
It’s finally December in Colorado and the weather is true to form. We had some warmer-than-normal temperatures in November with somewhat dry conditions, but once December arrived we are hitting the teens for lows and 40’s for highs.
One key to averting the cold northern wind is planting a natural windbreak. Most people understand that some of the trees have to be evergreen because barren deciduous trees wouldn’t help much with blocking the cold winter airflow.
The only problem with this fact is that most evergreen trees aren’t fast growing and so it takes quite a few years to build up a substantial shield. You would also want to consider the amount of space available because mature evergreens are not only tall, they can also have a wide girth.
Be Aware of your Hardiness Zone
Denver falls in hardiness zone 5b to 6a and this post provides the best windbreak trees for this Colorado location:
Norway spruce (zones 3-7): A strong, fast-growing evergreen that tolerates various soils
Green giant arborvitae (zones 5-7): A fast-growing evergreen with a classic pyramid shape
Eastern white pine (zone 3-6): A conifer that grows up to three feet per year
Colorado blue spruce (zones 3-6): A low-maintenance evergreen with unique color
White cedar (zones 3-7): A popular conifer with a long cone shape
Douglas fir (zones 4-6): A sturdy tree that’s perfect for snowy and icy climates
White fir (zones 4-7): A short evergreen commonly used as a Christmas tree
Find out more here: The Best Trees for Blocking Wind and Windbreak (By Zone)
There are a number of considerations when growing a windbreak in the state of Colorado. Are you interested in just displacing the wind and snow, or are you seeking refuge for wildlife?
Other multi-functional explanations for planting a windbreak are that they help prevent erosion and retain moisture in the soil. For most area farmers, the main end goal is to increase overall crop yields.
The spacing of the trees within a windbreak makes a huge difference in the protection. This video outlines the importance of proper planning for your tree rows:
Other Benefits of having a Windbreak
Some of the bonuses to having a solid tree row aren’t just agricultural but will benefit your home as well. A windbreak reduces heating costs by lowering the wind chill near your home.
It also reduces the wind speed, therefore decreasing damages to your property by deflecting the wind over the top of your home. The trees also create a barrier from sights and sounds.
Planting a windbreak isn’t an easy endeavor, and the initial cost of having someone else do the work for you is steep. The good news is that there are government programs that subsidize tree rows if you qualify.
This post gives an idea of what just the trees cost:
Here is an estimate on an average 3 row windbreak 300 ft long.
Middle row 16 Pine or Spruce spaced 20 ft apart 2-3 ft tall @ $25 each.
Inside row 16 pine or Spruce spaced 20 ft apart 2-3 ft tall @ $25.00 each.
Take off $2 each for over 50 price and pick them up yourself -$116.00
Total for 58 trees $1450.00 without discount + sales tax of 7%
See the full post here: WindbreakTrees.com
As landscapers in Denver, we have planted lots of trees to help block the wind. Obviously, most homes in a city don’t have space for a 300-foot windbreak, but with strategic planning of trees and shrubs, you can make your home cozier in the winter and provide some shade in the summer.