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Conifers and winter wind burn

Posted by sissyz Z5 NorthIL (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 20, 07 at 11:06

We have recently moved to a 5 acre lot that used to be farm land. The wind out of the west is incredible, here. I have never lived in the country before, but I have never seen such wind in my life.
I would like to establish a wind break on the west side of the house. Last year, I planted four Norway Spruce, two of which the deer ate down to 2' stumps. As I drive around and look at what others have planted, I see the White pine suffers from wind burn and the west side of them is brown until April.
The Black pine does not brown, but it's open form isn't really suitable for a wind screen!
I wonder if anyone here could offer any advice?
The site specifically is full sun, Zone 5, Illinois prairie soil, and WINDY!
Thanks for any help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Conifers and winter wind burn

An effective windbreak is more than just a row of trees. It needs to have some depth, and should include shrubs to fill in the gaps between trees that develop as their crowns move up. There is lots known about how to do this in the plains and prairie states as shelterbelt technology is well developed. I'd suggest you consult your county agent or extension forester.

RE: Conifers and winter wind burn

look in the white pages under US GVMT ... for your local soil conservation district ...

call them or visit them ...

wind break are.. by definition ... soil conservation ... lol .. we have to teach you city folks everything... lol ... actually i was in the same boat 7 years ago ... its wonderful .. sooo quiet.. and sooo dark at night.. did you know there where that many stars in the sky ...

anyway .... the SCD ... usually offers trees and conifers in small sizes at VERY REASONABLE prices at the proper planting times ... and they sell stuff to keep the deer away ... i got 25 white pines for 16$ ... yes they are one foot ... yes i had to protect them.. yes some got bitten ... they even sell a planting gizmo for bulk planting ...

but ... in planting a wind break .. you must think diversity ... they probably also offer information on such ... a proper wind break would be 3 lines of plants ... and a diversity of plants .. etc ...

i am no expert in it all ... but the SCD peeps ought to give you more info than you need.. and it will be specific to your county .... i have never tried to see if they have a website ....

the link is for a general SCD search ... maybe you can add to the search by using your state.. and/or your county ...

though we can add to ideas ... we are limited in our knowledge of your exact county .. and these peeps should be able to really help ...

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: google search

RE: Conifers and winter wind burn

  • Posted by sissyz Z5 NorthIL (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 22, 07 at 17:59

I sure appreciate all that info! I have been studying up and have a better idea what to do! I did check the Illinois Soil and Conservation District, but couldn't find any free or cheap trees, but will go to the office to see when they do give them out!
Really, my question is this: which conifers do you recommend that don't suffer burn?
As I said, the white pine around here suffers real bad burn.
The Soil and Conserv. office recommends evergreens that do suffer burn! I see it in my neighbor's yard and they don't bounce back until April or so.
So, I was looking for personal experience. The wind here is constant and in the winter, it gets so bad, we can't hang our feeders!!
Thanks for your help!

RE: Conifers and winter wind burn

Sissy, I certainly feel your pain! We are located nearly on top of a mountain here in PA, and we're in the same "windy" boat. One thing I would advise you NOT to plant in such a situation is Douglas Firs or Hemlocks though. We have had both severely damaged by the high winds here. Half of them look hideous with the west side of them almost completely bare! (however the east sides of them look gorgeous! LOL). I think when we replace some of them this fall, we are going to give Norway Spruce and/or Serbian Spruce a try.

What does everyone else think? (Dax? Ken? Resin?) :)

RE: Conifers and winter wind burn

  • Posted by sissyz Z5 NorthIL (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 23, 07 at 11:11

I sure appreciate your input about the Hemlock, although it is not widely planted in this area because of it's "dainty" reputation. In my life, I have never experienced such wind. I was born and raised in Chicago, you wouldn't think it would be that different, I am only an hour and a half away, but the wind in the plains without all those big buildings is incredible!!!
I hope someone will be able to post their own experiences!

RE: Conifers and winter wind burn

Yes, likely the extention office will have a few of these, if not, well find em if interested:

Picea abies
Picea orientalis
Picea pungens (worst of the ones here)
Picea omorika
Pinus resinosa
Abies nordmanniana
Abies balsamea
Abies veitchii
Abies concolor
Pinus cembra
Pinus koraiensis
Pinus parviflora
Pinus peuce
Pinus pungens
Pinus rigida
Pinus x schwerinii
Pinus x loblolly
Pinus enchinata
Thuja occidentalis
Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera
Juniperus virginiana (look up cedar apple rust)
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Deciduous conifers:
Larix decidua
Larix kaempferi
Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Taxodium distichum

That outta help.


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