Plant a wind break and regain your sanity

Windbreak: The length of the windbreak should be at least 10 times the height of the tallest trees. The area protected by a windbreak is generally 15-20 times the height of the tallest trees.
Windbreak: The length of the windbreak should be at least 10 times the height of the tallest trees. The area protected by a windbreak is generally 15-20 times the height of the tallest trees.

Wind can play havoc on many things in your home including your mood, the washing and your garden.

Planting a windbreak will not only provide some relief from a relentless gale, it may also help you with home temperature regulation and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Windbreaks also reduce soil erosion, increase landscape beauty, provide privacy and screening, decrease dry land salinity and provide some protection from fires.

An effective windbreak should be planted at right angles to the prevailing direction of cold winter and hot summer winds.

Windbreaks should consist of a minimum of two rows (ideally five if you have the space) and comprise a diverse range of species of various heights to create moderately dense foliage coverage from ground level to tree tops.

Rows should be between two-and-four metres apart, with the tallest trees in either the centre or windward row and be planted three-to-six metres apart.

Smaller trees and larger shrubs should be planted on the outer rows, spaced two-to-four metres apart. The smallest shrubs should be planted on the outer edges one-to-two metres apart.

Evergreen trees, especially if you trim them when they are young to encourage bushy growth close to the ground, work well as windbreaks, but you can also combine the plants with a wall, fence, or earth berm.

Make sure if you are planting evergreens that they are not too close to the north side of your house, as you want to be able to collect passive solar heat from the winter sun.

You can also use plants to create insulation for your home. Shrubs can help trap air next to your house - just make sure they are at least 30 centimetres from the wall.

The trees you choose for your windbreaks need to be strong, and ideally fire resistant. Some species to consider are:

  • Acacia Melanoxlyon (Blackwood)
  • Acacia Saligna (Golden Wreath Wattle)
  • Agonis Linerifolia (Swamp Peppermint)
  • Allocasuarina verticillata
  • Corymbia maculata (Spotted gum)
  • Dodonaea viscosa (low growing)
  • Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian blue gum)
  • Eucalyptus leucoxylon (SA blue gum)
  • Eucalyptus Horistes
  • Grevilleas (low growing)