Tree spacing for wind break?

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DanielCoffey

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Tree spacing for wind break?
« on: August 08, 2019, 12:27 »
I wonder if any of you would have advice for spacing of small to medium trees when creating a garden wind break? I am referring to a garden wind break of around 20 metres long rather than a landscape one.

We have a Planning Condition to replace trees removed from when our home was built and I am thinking of starting a wind break along one edge of our property but out of the main view. It would offer shelter from the main wind hitting the site in the Winter but not obstruct our view.

The tree specimens I was thinking of using are standards of medium species such as Hawthorn and Whitebeam rather than the taller stuff.

We have the added complication that there are horses on the paddock over our stock fence and I would expect them to try to graze on any accessible and palatable branches. The taller ones among them already attempt to lean over and get to the grasses within a foot of the base of the fence which I don't mind as it saves me using the strimmer against the wires.

My inclination would be to space the trees at about 2m apart and 1m to 2m from the fence itself. Thoughts?

EDIT : Oops, should this be in General Gardening instead?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 12:30 by DanielCoffey »

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Goosegirl

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Re: Tree spacing for wind break?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 12:53 »
I'm not sure about Whitebeam but we have hawthorn hedges as a windbreak and they're very good. We bought them as striplings which meant they got going faster than larger ones would. The farmers here tend to plant them in staggered rows (like a zig-zag) and space them about two - three foot apart to get a nice thick hedge. Once planted they have their tips cut off to promote side-shoots. If they get a bit thin at the base they get layered which shortens the height but makes them more capable of cutting down the wind strength. As for how far from the fence should you plant them, see what room you have and if you can get behind to trim them as I don't know if horses would eat them but cows do.
Spring always comes when we sow the seeds of life.

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DanielCoffey

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Re: Tree spacing for wind break?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 13:51 »
I could certainly place a typical stock-proof hedge there but unfortunately the Planning Department are specifying "trees". I am also not allowed to buy hedging whips and use those, even if I space them far enough apart to turn into trees in the long run. It is an expensive Condition I have to agree.

I was considering a row of six-foot Hawthorn standards spaced roughly 2m to 3m apart with a staggered row of Whitebeam further from the horses. It would end up being about 8 Hawthorn and around 6-8 Whitebeam.

Reckon that spacing when mature would allow the trees to be effective as a wind break or is it too close/far apart? We are talking distances of 30-40m from the wind break rather than close up small garden distances.

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WeavingGryphon

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Re: Tree spacing for wind break?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 07:43 »
Whitebeam were very popular back in the 80s with the local authority here and there are loads of mature trees here. So what I say is based on my observations (from sitting in the shade of one while the kids play at the park).
 
I would say 2m is too close together. Their canopy is too wide for them not to be elbowing each other for space. There is a hawthorn within 2 m of a Whitebeam and it does fit under the canopy, but not happily. If you did plant Whitebeams you'd also be totally shaded out, RHS says they can get up to 12m tall 8m spread. The local trees are about 5-6m wide and maybe 8m tall maturing in 20-50 years. Time frame, will you be worried about this in 30 years?

I would say go for a hawthorn hedge (they planted one of them 10 years ago). They grow fast, are hardy are spiky-protection, loved by birds and are a great windbreak. I'd also stick a plum, crab apple or apple tree every so often. It'd increase species diversity, give you fruit and you'd be thinning the canopy out to keep them healthy and productive so it wouldn't decrease your light as much as a whitebeam with it's dense canopy would.

Modify, they planted 2 foot saplings closer than that and it was a hedge within 3/4 years.

Do you want me to take measure between trees and send you a photo of what they look like in a row? It's sunny today and I'll be to the park later so it's no problem.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 07:45 by WeavingGryphon »

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DanielCoffey

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Re: Tree spacing for wind break?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 08:04 »
That is very useful information, thanks.

We are looking at roughly a 25-year timescale and the Planning Department have specified "full standard trees" not hedging as part of our conditions. This is a rural area and the building is 20m from one end of the fence line and roughly 30m from the other.

This was why I was thinking of a tree windbreak for the full site rather than a hedge windbreak just for a garden area.

It isn't our primary view but would just block our view of the local stables turnout square and provide some shelter from the rather strong south-westerly winds as well as discharge the Planning Condition.

I should add that the ground is a little wet there. It is level but I suspect the neighbour's field drains are clogged with clay as there is always surface water after rain.

Am I likely to have the horses take too much of an interest in young Hawthorne?

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jezza

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Re: Tree spacing for wind break?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2019, 19:04 »
Hello try Alder trees they like it a bit damper  and a couple of poplar if you have room  a London plane they take in pollution and shed their bark in early spring and you can claim they are environmentally  friendly have you tried for a tree planting grant that keeps cost down  jezza



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