Does anyone have recommendations for good plants to use as a snow fence to block the blowing snow from filling up my long driveway?
Something woody maybe. I've seen where people take willow springs and actually weave them into a fence, so that could work.
Carpinus betulus or caroliniana (commonly European and American hornbeam) would be great if you like deciduous - gets nice & thick once you head it off. For evergreen, it's hard to beat one of the cultivars of Thuja occidentalis (commonly Eastern white cedar or arborvitae). I chose these because they are widely adaptable.
A windbreak doesn't need to be tall, just wide. It needs to be wide enough to slow the wind down and let the snow drift in a more predictable fashion.
1. Plant your windbreak far enough from the driveway that the resulting drifts don't form on the driveway. That's why a snow fence is always set well back from a road/driveway.
2. Wider is better...a single row of evergreens *may* be sufficient but two rows are better. Even deciduous shrubs (ie. lilac) are very effective if you have ~10' of width to spare. In every case though, the growth needs to be most dense from the ground to ~5'.
3. Eastern White Cedar are popular winter snacks for deer...if you have deer, the Cedar is not a good choice.
4. Choose shrubs/trees/evergreens that are adapted to the soil conditions (ie. clay or sand, wet or dry)
Good advice from smivies. I live in WI, where snow is more than plentiful, and our prevailing weather comes from the West. The county crews usually place their snow fences 20 or more feet from the roadway. A planted windbreak is a wonderful idea, if you have room for several layers of small trees/shrubs. Contacting your local agricultural bureau would give you ideas for the best mix of flora for your area.Very smart planning on your part unsworth! Pondy (Sharon)
Forsythia? Cheap, fast growing, beautiful in the spring, if you don't prune to hedge.