Windbreak Plants for Wind Protection and Diversified Yields

(Perma)Culture and Sanity

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Useful Trees and Shrubs for Windbreak Plantings

This is not an exhaustive list, but is intended to give an idea of what sorts of plants can be incorporated into windbreaks. Plants for a Future has a very good, searchable database of plants from around the world, including descriptions such as soil needs, water and sunlight needs, etc.

By using a broad range of plant types, sizes and functions in your windbreak you can create mini-ecosystems that support a wide variety of users including both humans and wildlife, in addition to the windbreak's usefulness at slowing wind.

The plants listed here are adapted to the northern New Mexico highlands in the U.S. This area is at 35° latitude, ranges from 4,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation, and gets 15 to 20 inches of rainfall annually. Temperatures range from -20°F to 90°F.

Evergreen Windbreak Trees and Shrubs

Evergreen Trees (plant 8 feet apart in straight or zig-zag rows...zig-zag better)

Evergreen Shrubs (5 - 6 feet apart in rows)

Supplemental Windbreak Plants

Your windbreak can include a wide variety of plants designed to confer other advantages besides simply blocking harsh winds. These advantages can include supplying wildlife with food and shelter, supplying fruit for human comsumption, yielding fenceposts and poles, offering fire protection (most deciduous plants) or simply beautifying your surroundings. A sampling of useful plants—including some of their uses to humans or animals—are listed below.

Deciduous Shrubs

Deciduous Trees

Useful and Ornamental Plants


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Reprinted from (Perma) Culture and Sanity Website

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