wind protection for garden

gadoidApril 18, 2014

My garden is sited on the top of a sloping blueberry field. It runs more or less north to south, with the woods 60-70 feet to the back of it. I would like to plant some wind break trees in the field but am not sure about what to plant, distance from garden, configuration, etc. So, anyone here have ideas? I was thinking arborvitae though I am not sure about their adaptability to a sandy, well-drained blueberry field. Thanks, G.

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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

If you have deer arborvitae is not a good choice. Arborvitae do well in average to damp conditions, but I am not sure about well drained to dry. You might ask on the conifer forum. They also might have other suggestions.

Blue spruce should be hardy enough and is fine with well drained to dry, but they will eventually end up huge. Is that a problem in your area, or could you use a slower growing variety or could you plant a double row planted every 5 or 10 years, removing rows when they get too large?

You might want to add information such as a photo and whether you want the wind protection just during the warm season such as for a veggie garden or if you want it year round such as to protect the house or other shrubs and perennials from the wind. If it is just for the growing season a dense deciduous shrub will work well.

As far as distance, I would probably do a web search for "windbreak distance" and see what comes up since land contour and wind speed may play a part or not.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:35AM
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edlincoln(6A)

Anything that grows on the beach tolerates wind and sandy soils. If you want to go native you could go with Pitch Pine or Eastern Red Cedar...both thrive in sand and wind.

Blue Spruce is a good choice.

If you only need a partial wind screen in the summer (to protect summer vegetables and bulbs) crab apple has the added benefit of fruit and flowers.

EDIT: If you live near a forest, you could look at the forest to see what grows there.
I agree pitch pine isn't the prettiest tree. Eastern Red Cedar and Arborvitae aren't either, to my mind. Eastern Red Cedar has the benefit of providing foods for birds. If you want pretty, go for crab apple or Blue Spruce.
tree_oracle, you sound like you know a lot about pitch pines. Can they handle clay? I've been planting them in my parent's coastal property...parts have sand, pars have dense clay soil.

This post was edited by edlincoln on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 20:42

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:26PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

Ugh, that's a negatory on the Pitch Pine. While they tolerate wind and dry, sandy soils extremely well, they are very irregular in shape and not good windbreak trees. They are in my opinion the ugliest pine tree on the planet. I do agree wholeheartedly with Eastern Red Cedar. It's tough as nails and really dense.

You didn't say how tall you wanted this windbreak to be.
I have some Green Giant arborvitae that may fit the bill but they may get too tall for your situation. They are dense, fast-growing and so far they are deer proof. I have a problem with deer browsing plants on my property but they've never touched the Green Giants.

I agree with Blue Spruce although they may grow too slowly for your needs. I'm a big fan of the Serbian Spruce. I love the shape of Norway Spruce, too which are very fast-growing but they may be too large for your situation. Most anything in the spruce family would fit your situation as long as the size is right.

I would consider some Vanderwolf Pines. They are thick in time and very flexible so they can handle snow loads well. They don't get overly huge and are just very attractive trees.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:38PM
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