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Help - new yard in a wind tunnel

Posted by StephMorganHill Sunset 14 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 14:51

We have a 1/2 acre of rocky orchard dirt in our backyard that I need to transform into a garden, but we live in a wind tunnel and are surrounded by fields. I have about 100 ft along a fence where I would like to plant some wind hardy trees, but not evergreens because the area needs sun in winter. My current options are to put in clumping bamboo for immediate windbreak and plant ginkgo biloba in front and wait for it to mature, or a few red maples. What will grow up high relatively quickly and not cause too much litter? I would like trees with some interesting bark in winter.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help - new yard in a wind tunnel

How about temporary reed or split bamboo fencing to chill out the wind while trees are growing in ? As long as it allows some air through it won't make the wind into a vortex behind it.

I would go for red maples, I love gingkos, they are so beautiful, but they smell so bad if one is a lady gingko.

I have a wind tunnel front yard too, on a busy street in SJ . On my street are gingkos and evergreen magnolia. I don't have either, I'm still trying to decide what to do for street trees (despite all the helpful advice I got on this forum)


RE: Help - new yard in a wind tunnel

The Sunset Garden book has a good section on windbreaks. I recall being surprised at the recommendations. You may wish to take a look at it- they have some fine drawings of how different fences and plants work as windbreaks.

RE: Help - new yard in a wind tunnel

  • Posted by dis_ z9 CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 3:48

I did a lot of research on trees because I live in a wind tunnel part of the year. I live below the Cajon Pass and the Santa Anas howl through there.

I settled on Sycamores (London plane and Cal sycamore) because they were rated very well for wind resistance. They definitely have interesting bark.

Established Crape Myrtles have done extremely well for me as well. Young ones can get blown over but I have restaked them and they suffered no harm.

RE: Help - new yard in a wind tunnel

Thanks. I have looked at the Sunset book, but didn't find it that inspiring. Sycamores are a huge problem, the fuzzy hairs they produce in spring can create horrible breathing problems. I have decided to go with an arbutus marina, red maples and laurels, and then am planting a podocarpus hedge for a second layer

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