What are the best trees to diffuse the wind?

It has been so windy over the last twelve months, especially in the north of the country, with storm Henry now clobbering our shores. A great way to diffuse wind in a garden is to plant trees. If you look at a mature tree in the wind you will see that its outer edges of foliage, twigs or branches will be moving whilst the inner trunk is still. A trees outer edge will diffuse the power of the wind to take the strain off the central stem and so hold itself up in strong winds.

One of the best examples of wind diffusing is the Black Pine, Pinus nigra Austriaca or sometimes referred to as just Pinus nigra. Its long evergreen needles are superb at stilling the air and I always remember walking passed one on a very windy day in Huntingdon and being taken aback at how the wind suddenly stopped while I was behind it. A good indicator of a tree that can provide this service is to look for a coastal species which has evolved to take wind 24/7.

When picking trees for windy sites, always go for trees with low branches down their stems rather than ones with a long trunk. The more branches on a tree, the better the job of wind diffusing and the easier they will establish. Multi stemmed trees are bottom heavy and so hold themselves up better in strong winds than standard trees that are conversely top heavy and liable to bend or break when the wind catches them.

Pinus nigra Austriaca is a stout growing evergreen tree that is my pick for slowing down gusts of wind in your garden. As most stormy weather comes along in the winter months, the fact that it’s evergreen is crucial. However, they do make big trees and planting them close together weakens them over time so plant at least 10 metres apart and be aware that they may grow to over 50 feet! Like most evergreens they are also dependant on a well-draining soil in which to thrive.

For more information on what is the right tree to choose for your garden, please contact us on [email protected] or phone us on 01353 720950

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