Sunday, February 10, 2008
How To Plant an Effective Wind Break
by Billie A Williams
Today the wind whips the landscape in wintery gust of 65 miles per hour at times. The few inches of snowfall in the last couple days piles up in great drifts where little or no resistance is met. I’m glad we have an effective wind break on the north-northwest side of our home. It happens to be the L shaped protection afforded by the house and garage next door. It saves us on our heating fuel bill. What saves the neighbor’s heating bill? Another wind break in the form of evergreen trees planted in the L shape recommended by those who know how to develop an effective wind break.
Which brings me to today’s question. What creates an effective, efficient, energy saving natural wind break? According to the Department of Environmental Protection research up to 40 percent of your heating fuel costs could be cut by having a barrier such as evergreen trees against the wind velocity of those north-northwest winter winds. In dollar amounts, considering the US average heating costs, that could easily be as much as $400 per winter.
Here are a few important considerations when planning your evergreen wind break:
1. Most Important: Evergreens need to be planted north and northwest of your home. The direction that the strongest and coldest winter winds come from.
2. Planting in a “U” or “L” shape is most effective against blocking the undesirable winds.
3. The best zone of wind protection is from 2 – 7 times the height of the trees when they mature. Example: Mature tree height 20 feet = 40 to 140 feet downwind protection. Plan your planting accordingly
4. If you want a quick wind barrier plant your trees closer together. If you are willing to wait, you can plant them farther apart and wait for them to grow into a dense barrier. This could save you money on the cost of the trees.
5. Keep in mind evergreens prefer full to partial sun. Most soil conditions are adequate for them.
6. Order your trees from a reputable tree nursery.
Care for your evergreen trees with plenty of water until they are well established and they will take care of you. Not only with energy/heating fuel costs, but with a variety of birds and other wild life that will be attracted to your property.
Billie A Williams
mystery suspense author