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Warm Cows & Cool Breezes

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Published on: Mar. 2, 1998

Last revision: Oct. 28, 2010

to keep livestock from windbreaks.

  • The most effective area of protection is two to five times the height of the tallest trees. Buildings and feedlots should be within this zone.
  • Buildings should be no closer than 100 feet to a windbreak.
  • Planning Your Windbreaks

    Purpose Minimum # of Rows Fence Tree Type & Configuration
    Farmstead 2 optional big  tree imagebig  tree image
    Feedlot 2 necessary big  tree imagebig  tree image
    High Traffic screen 6 optional big  tree imagebig  tree imagebig  tree imageimage of small deciduousimage of small deciduous treeimage of shrub
    Medium-low Traffic Screen 3 optional big  tree imagebig  tree imageimage of small deciduous
    Visual Screen 2 optional big  tree imageimage of small deciduous tree
    Alternative version of Visual Screen 3 optional
    Wildlife 5 optional image of small deciduous tree big  tree image image of small deciduous image of small deciduous tree image of shrub

    Key:

    big  tree image evergreen

    deciduous

    Choosing Your Species

    Row 1
    Shrubs
    Row 2
    Medium
    Ever-
    green
    Row 3
    Medium
    Deciduous
    Row 4
    Tall
    Ever-
    green
    Row 5
    Tall
    Deciduous
    American hazel eastern redcedar river birch white pine bald cypress
    gray dogwood jack pine Osage-orange shortleaf pine northern red oak
    fragrant sumac   black locust red pine white oak
    shining sumac   persimmon   tuliptree
    arrowwood viburnum   green ash   hackberry

    For windbreaks with fewer rows:

    • Two-row windbreak: use species from rows 2-3 or 1-3 or 1-4
    • Three-row windbreak: use species from rows 1-2-3 or 2-3-4
    • Four-row windbreak: use species from rows 1-2-3-4 or 2-3-4-5 or 1-2-3-5

    Planting Your Windbreak

    Stagger tree spacing so the trees in one row will be planted opposite the opening in the other row

    Use these spacings within the rows: Shrubs Evergreen Trees Deciduous Trees
      image of shrubs image of evergreen trees image of deciduous trees
    Use these spacings between the rows: Shrubs Shrubs & Trees Trees
      image of shrubs image of evergreen trees image of deciduous trees

    Strategic Shade

    image of trees planted as windbreak around a structureAlthough city dwellers usually don't have the space to plant large windbreaks, there are still opportunities to reduce their energy consumption. The placement of trees around a home is critical to take advantage of summer shade while not blocking winter solar heat. When planning where to plant trees, remember that the sun's position in the sky changes hourly and daily. Plan for shadows that cover targeted areas during the hottest hours of the hottest weeks of summer.

    Deciduous trees that provide maximum summer shade and minimum winter shade are ideal for reducing energy consumption, but they must be located properly for best year-round results.

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