Wind Resistant Trees

Rapidfire(z6b NJ)August 8, 2004

My narrow side yard is windier than I realized three years ago, when I planted the otherwise perfect pairing of Forest Pansy Redbud cercis canadensis and Frisia Honeylocust robinia pseudoacacia. Both have broken in summer winds.

I just spent hours at Twombly, with sales help, and drove two hours home with a small heptacodium (7 sons tree) and a modest Catalpa B. Aurea. Now I'm getting the bad feeling that both of these trees will be similarly brittle. "What was I thinking" and what can I do instead? Please share your thoughts.

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Found these:

Acer ginnala
Acer truncatum
Caragana arborescens
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Chamaecyparis pisifera
Comptonia peregrina
Cornus racemosa
Corylus colurna
Cotoneaster divaricatus
Cratageus viridis `Winter King'
Diervilla sessilifolia
Eleutherococcus sieboldianus
Eucommia ulmoides
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Ginkgo biloba
Gymnocladus dioicus
Juniperus chinensis
Juniperus conferta
Juniperus virginiana
Ledum groenlandicum
Microbiota decussata
Myrica pensylvanica
Parrotia persica
Parthenocissus quinquifolia
Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Pinus banksiana
Pinus cembra
Pinus parviflora
Potentilla fruticosa
Prunus maritima
Ptelea trifoliata
Pyrus calleryana cultivars
Quercus alba
Quercus bicolor
Rhus aromatica `Gro-Low'
Symphoricarpos x chenaulti
Taxodium ascendens
Taxodium distichum
Vaccinium corymbosum

Hope some help.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 7:44PM
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go to the locally windiest place that you know and see what is thriving there ..

its not very windy at Twombly's

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 10:18PM
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treeza(aljezur portuga)

Thanks PPennypacker for your very useful list
Does any of these survive in a sand garden in west Portugal?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 1:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Just another thought....make sure that you purchase plants that have not been pruned by the grower to have a sort of lolly pop appearance. This is a popular method of training espoused by growers thinking that their customers want trees that are very full at the top, instead of having a good strong 'skeleton'. In other words, it is not so much the species that is important, but the method of pruning when the trees are very young.

Even the strongest of trees can be turned into a disaster, and weak trees can be made to be much more adaptable.

I've seen this done extensively on Forest Pansy, for example. The attached image illustrates how this pruning practice makes a pretty susceptible tree! They've taken a tree that is already known for weak branch structure and made it even worse.

P.S. We've been learning that our new home is also VERY windy in the back! Since we've been in the process of planting some trees, I will be doing some careful pruning in a few weeks to thin these trees out somewhat, making them less of a sail for those heavy winds.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 12:46PM
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Funny thing to see this post just now. I just brought home from the library a book of lists for midwest gardeners. There is a list for trees to use in exposed, windy locations! Here is the list:
Amur maple (Acer Ginnala)
Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
Red maple (Acer rubrum
Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
Tartarian maple (Acer tataricum)
Gray birch (Betula populifolia)
European hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus)
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Thornless honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis)
Jack pine (pinus nigra)
Red pine (Pinus resinosa)
Oaks (Quercus spp.)
Lindens (Tilia spp.)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 3:11PM
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dirtytoes(z5 KY)

Could anyone tell me where I could purchase an Eucommia Ulmoides by mail order? I have been searching for some time. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 10:56AM
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cattman(z10a FL)

I'm trying to find info on some truly tropical trees that are wind-resistant. Hurricanes are my big concern, but I'd also like to create a couple of shady, sheltered spots for understorey palms.

I have access to balsa trees and Guyana chestnut, know they grow in Central America and - at least in places like Belize and Honduras - would be exposed to hurricanes from time to time. But I know nothing of their wind resistance/susceptibility.

I've already found info suggesting that teak and mahogany are not wind-resistant and figured I'd try to avoid them, though the old mahoganies still standing in Coral Gables suggest otherwise.

Any info would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 10:35PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Cattman: take a look at this link...


Here is a link that might be useful: Hurricane-resistant trees

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 11:15PM
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I have lived in my home 12 years. I planted three nursery grown Bradford Pears, along with various other trees. This summer, on a sunny day, some shear of wind came from nowhere and broke one of the three off at the main part where it starts to spread out. The two other trees within 15 feet of this tree were not damaged, however, as soon as the leaves fall this Fall, I am going to cut the other two down and start over. These trees are GORGEOUS and the odor, although not pleasant, does not bother me for the trees are far enough away from my house to make any difference. They really put on a show this year, was their best year ever, but I wish I had never planted them. The other 12 year old trees in my yard are maturing nicely, but I will have to invite the stump grinder out to make room for what trees I replace these with.

I do have a Yoshino cherry tree that I planted at the same time. It is the most beautiful tree in my yard and fares well to windy snaps and cold snowy (what little we have here) weather. I may replace with an ornamental cherry of some sort. I will not plant another Bradford Pear tree in my lifetime.

This is a great forum, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:35PM
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Dawn Redwoods are flexible and tolerate wind very well. They have a conical structure and light wood - the structure and flexibility of these trees provides much less to worry about in the way of falling branches and almost nil to worry about in the way of breaking in the first place.

Not to mention they are among some of the fastest-growing trees available. Only setback is their water demand, they are fine once established but will need irrigation in order to establish them on very dry sites. They love summer heat and humidity.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:30PM
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