How much of a factor is wind?

greatplainsturf(6/7 OK)January 30, 2012

Thinking today about my new plantings for the summer and after talking to someone the subject of wind drying came up. My lot is large and open and the south winds blow here in OK most of the summer. I understand winter drying when the ground is frozen, but what about summer. If well watered will the hot wind cause issues? I have new Norway spruce, blue spruce, and white pine that will be making their first summer after transplant. Blue spruce grow quite well in the OK panhandle where the wind is always fierce. Nursery people say its worse than heat. We have plenty of both. What say you?

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Frozen ground and fierce winds blow all winter off Lake Ontario....conifers (including the ones on your list) do just fine in all exposures.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:54PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Maybe you should mix it up with additional species.

Norway typically likes moist soils and Pinus strobus isn't a fan of your climate. Are there several other southwest type species that would do better?

So your question of...will hot windy summer days cause isses. Well yes during establishment. Its a matter if the roots can keep up with pumping water to the needles not how often you water.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:17PM
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greatplainsturf(6/7 OK)

I am trying the species that are less common first. I'll go mainstream if I fail :). Its boring to have the same stuff everyone else has. I hope to have learned from last summers crazy heat. I never had a chance, odds are this one will be better. I had mulch last year but my conifers that did best had deep mulch. I also have soaker hose setups for all my new ones. I hope to keep the roots cool and damp, as long as the wind doesnt dry too much. Not overwatered though. I figure that most conifers come from windy mountain environments, sounds like during the first few years the wind is of most concern.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:08PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Funny because those plants are as common as grass around here!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:21PM
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greatplainsturf(6/7 OK)

Exactly, Its all about where you are. I know they arent uncommon, thats why they are easy to find. Just fairly uncommon in Oklahoma.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Hot dry wind can definitely wreak havoc. Down here it shapes how most trees grow as most of the limbs/trees lean slightly to the north. Regular deep watering and a layer of mulch should help out considerably.
My plantings were opposite of yours, I went with the tried and true Eastern Red Cedar and Arizona Cypress as the mainstay of my plantings, and then added a few experimentals. Actually almost any conifer except Ashe Juniper is un-common down here. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 1:38PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey sturf .... [what is sturf anyway .. lol]

first.. babes.. pre-established ... they might not have the root system .. to pump enough water.. in high heat .. to avoid tissue damage ... result.. tissue damage

warm winds are irrelevant.. if the plant has enough water ... wouldnt you think ...

soooo .. a lot of wind on a pre-established plant that is lacking water .. leads to .. wait for it.. tissue damage ... with me so far ...

now.. during hot nights in july/august ... a plant .. which might otherwise might make it thru the day heat/wind ... IF.. it has a cool night to 'recover' ... it might not get tissue damage .... but if the nights do not allow recovery ... well.. tissue damage ....

now.. throw all that together.. and being 'evergreen' .. sometimes i wonder if there isnt summer damage which is so slight.. you really dont 'see' the damage ... until winter winds ...

would you care to speculate as to the opposite season.. and the winter effects of sun/heat/winds???

my gut tells me.. that daves summer sun tents.. are probably the only way to go ... as i have no clue how you might cool a hot summer night ... other than insure the plants are deeply watered in the evening.. w/o getting tissue wet ... but personally .. i could not cope with tents all over my yard.. and they are on their own.. live or die.. its their choice .... most make it... [with proper water] .. they just dont look pretty until they get established.. and add some size ....

winter theory????


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 2:08PM
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greatplainsturf(6/7 OK)

Interesting. That explains why in places that are hot and dry, but have cooler nights see less damage. So you say that hot wind is irrelevant if they have enough water. So are you saying that winds do not cause additional water needs, or are you saying that wind does make things worse, but it's only part of the equation of things that harm trees, and may not cause issue if the other aspects are favorable? ( in summer)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 5:41PM
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The hot dry wind clearly takes away surface moisture at a faster pace. That's moisture that could have gone into the soil and hence the roots at some point. In areas of marginal rainfall, it can clearly make a difference.
Just as you mentioned earlier, mulch can help counter-act the effects of both the sun and wind, letting the moisture remain in the soil longer and shading from the sun.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 10:12AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

but also think of mulch a soil coolant.. as much as a moisture retainer ....

there and no hard and fast 'rules' in all this .. and it is highly dependent on your little micro climate ...

i just wanted you to think outside the 'wind' box you were in ... and take a gander at the greater scheme of things..

i think that is enough cliches for this post ..


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 10:24AM
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greatplainsturf(6/7 OK)

So are there tree species that "don't like the summer wind", or is this a oversimplication of the needs of a specific species. I guess to the nursery, the trees that won't die if you try to kill them are the ones they would say " don't mind the wind". I feel like most nurseries point people to the easy trees (for reasons I understand), but it makes for a boring landscape.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Most of my experience with wind is on the other end of the spectrum (winter), but the mechanism is the same.

The cells that regulate the respiration of a plant are the stomata, which open and close to allow the exchange of gases we call breathing. This activity has a specific temperature range where it is most active, but it never really shuts down. This is why the desiccating wind can wreck such havoc, it blows by the plant, unbalancing the delicate equilibrium the plants knows how to achieve, cause the stomates to open and in doing so, pull desperately needed moisture away from plants.

We can really get technical and get into the difference between c3 and c4 plants, and while that has some bearing on this topic, it's not the point of the question.

Specifically, as regards this question, it sounds like you know what you need to...mulch is generally a good thing, water is critical but plants don't really care where it comes from as long as they get it, and if you can get them established, they'll probably be okay, except for those years that are far outside the norm.

The effects are most noticable on plants that are somewhat borderline. Where I come from, redbud, pagoda dogwood, redtwig dogwood with C. sanguina heritage, and contorted willows are prime examples of plants that benefit from protection from winter wind. The good news is, for the most part, these plants are able to be protected.

At a certain point, it's gonna be hard to protect a the species you mention.

Were it me, I'd allow for windbreaks of species that are going to be reliable where you live, and using those plants as a backdrop, utilize the screening they provide to be more enthusiastic in your persual of non-traditional landscape plants.

Don't let me stop you though. I'm all for landscape of great diversity. Just don't forget to water.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Actually today, we will have -12 C tonight. but you feel like -21 C, because there is a strong East wind from Sibiria/Russia.When you have 0 C, you can feel like - 10 C
with wind.

That's the factor wind in winter.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:26PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

So are there tree species that "don't like the summer wind"

==>> neither do i, as compared to a breeze .. but whats the point ... lol ...

we have tried to discuss the variables.. and all you can do.. is read comments above with a grain of salt...

if its simply marketing.. i would presume.. the seller has 1000 of just the plants you need ... why else would he point it out ... etc ...

did i mention here.. to discuss this with your county extension office and see what they have to say about it all ...

but one thing for sure ... i would suggest you stay away from the foo foo stuff ... they are usually hard to grow in the best of places ... let alone .. the struf ....

as to crypto.. i seem to think i have been repeatedly told.. that theoretically wind chill is irrelevant to a plant ... but i dont know if i believe what i was told either ... if damage is done.. is it the 0 temp .. or the wind when it was zero ... how does one tell .. the wind .. at that temp .. freeze dries the tissue.. is the additional few degrees relevant.. who knows ..


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 12:39PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

It all has to do with the moisture content in the air.

Dry winter winds can be devastating to various plants.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 1:57PM
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