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windbreaks & shelterbelts

Last post 02-04-2011 12:19 AM by zohnerfarms. 38 replies.
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  • 06-03-2010 1:49 AM

    windbreaks & shelterbelts

    Oldest DD has around 10 acres in rural eastern Utah.  When they bought the place about 5 years ago, there was nothing planted to shelter either the house or the pastures from the wind, which can be fierce. Money is tight, as usual, so we have been working on "windbreak trees for less than a dime".

    Across my back fence, along the Wasatch Front, there is a 100 foot elm tree, that litters the lawn, garden & flowerbeds regularly with seeds.Over the last 5 years, we have transplanted 30-40 saplings of various sizes to her property, as the start of windbreaks along two of her fencelines.  28 have survived, which is not a bad survival rate, considering we are getting better at it as we go. This year we used one of the hydrogels when we planted, & the trees are doing much better.  We will continue to transplant elm saplings as they try to grow in my "anywhere cultivated". The goats love eating them (hence the low survival rate), & we can use elms anywhere for the windbreaks.

    Earlier this spring, we were talking about the windbreaks & need to go faster, & one of the online nurseries offered red maple trees ( fast growing, drought tolerant, & able to take the heat) on their "penny sale", so I ordered fourteen 18" - 2' trees & planted them with my grandsons. I picked up two  6-7' Autumn Blaze maples at one of the nurseries near her, and planted them in line along with the baby red maples, so the 10 year old grandson doing the watering will be able to find the smaller trees. Smile  We also decided to add some maples, since everyone in the family likes maple syrup & it is my personal belief that every plant on the place should perform mutliple functions. Yes

    During a recent stint working 3 nights in a row, I noticed that the parking lot was COVERED with maple seeds.  Did a google search & discovered that the trees in the hospital parking lot were silver maples!  Picked up a handful of seeds each night, & now that I have them sorted & counted, I have over 240 of the seeds.  I intend to plant them in starter pots, then graduate them up to larger pots over the summer as they grow. The google search also told me silver maples grow fast (which I knew), can have weak wood ( not a problem: the trees will be in a pasture, & if limbs break, they become fuel for the wood stove), and they can be tapped for maple sap, along with the red maples.  Slightly lower percentage of sugar in the sap & a little more sugar sand, but workable for family use.

    The only trees that sprout, grow & survive with no assistance in the middle of fields, etc, where she lives are elms & Russian olive trees.  About 10 miles from me there is a business park that was being developed 2-3 years ago, then stalled for some reason.  The roads & curbing were put in, and the large utility boxes for businesses were stubbed in, but other than that, only the weeds are growing there - - along with a few Russian olive trees.  Today I dug out 2 of the smaller ones.  Took nearly an hour for each tree - - they were growing in rocks, gravel & a very small amount of sand, but tonight they seem to be doing fine in 5 gallon pots in my back yard, waiting transport to their final destination along the farthest back fence row in the left corner pasture. (Youngest DD's 4-H leader had Russian olives growing along her goat pen.  The Extension Handbook for goats says they shouldn't eat them, but the leader's goats did, & I never saw any ill effects over the 5 years youngest DD did goats in 4-H, so oldest DD & I decided they would be ok as part of the windbreak.)

    For those of you who have animals that need pasture, what trees have you used in your windbreaks & shelterbelts?  

    Did you have to put in the windbreaks & if so, how were you able to reduce the cost of putting in the windbreaks?

     

  • 06-03-2010 9:01 AM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    I am in awe.

    I bought a house a few years ago, Its in an urban, tightly packed mostly single family homes. The yard is big by my standards, having lived in apartments most of my adult life without even a balcony. My yard is about 25 X 125' so it a postage stamp compared to your acreage but I also have terrible wind problems. There are very few big trees in the yards between me and ocean so the westerly wind rips through.

    I'd like to plant wind break trees too but I wonder if they would actually have to be planted farther down the hill (in other people's yards) to be effective. Plus the setting sun is gives me the most growing light. Do I just need to learn to love the wind?

  • 06-03-2010 11:57 AM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    Just a word of warning.  In our area -- Western Montana -- Russian Olives are magnets for stinging yellow jackets, and some  type of hornet.  If any of the family is allergic to bee stings, or flying insect stings, you might want to reconsider the Russian Olive trees.  I have seen trees that almost vibrate and humm with the flying insects swarming them.  they do grow fast and are very hardy trees.  They also sprout baby trees with no problems.

  • 06-03-2010 12:10 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    We have silver maples. You are correct that the wood is weak. We contantly have limbs that are breaking off the storms. They are beautiful trees and do grow fast. Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 06-03-2010 1:21 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    I have around 40 Red Maples in my yard that my step-father planted. They were free. They were growing somewhere near the right of way for the power company. Step-father got permission to get the trees (little saplings) and he planted them in my yard. It's been over 20 years since he planted them. Today they are very tall.

    My yard guy doesn't like them because they do inhibit the grass from growing because of all the shade they provide.

    It's absolutely amazing to see these big trees that literally didn't cost anything. They seem to be able to take the heat and humidity here in Virginia.

    Did I mention that my step-father's family was Quaker and that they were frugal ? My step-father had a green thumb and he loved challenges when it came to gardening.

    I'm sure the trees are one reason I have so much wildlife in my yard. There are many varieties of birds in my yard.

  • 06-03-2010 3:16 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    mtviolet:
    Just a word of warning.  In our area -- Western Montana -- Russian Olives are magnets for stinging yellow jackets, and some  type of hornet.  If any of the family is allergic to bee stings, or flying insect stings, you might want to reconsider the Russian Olive trees.  I have seen trees that almost vibrate and humm with the flying insects swarming them.  they do grow fast and are very hardy trees.  They also sprout baby trees with no problems.
     

    I have seen yellow jackets around Russian olives before, but no one in the family is allergic to bee stings. Oldest DD is mildly allergic to the trees themselves, but there are already a few in other pastures surrounding hers, and they have caused no problems.  I have 3 small ones dug out & potted up now, but the Russian olives will only be placed at the very back left corner of the farthest pasture.  They will serve multiple functions there:

    1) be part of the windbreak 

    2) since they have thorns, they will discourage trespassers (so the yellow jackets might be useful there, too)  There are oil wells close to her property, and the companies have given notice to her that they MAY put one in the pasture land behind her back right pasture.  They were not pleased to find out that they would have to put gravel on any access roads, because she has multiple children with asthma - - one of the reasons they moved out of town - - and under ADA, they cannot aggravate the child's condition if there is a way to mediate the impact.  Should that well go in, the mature trees of a windbreak will screen it from her view.  At that point in time, a row of beehives might suddenly make their home on that side of the property, also to discourage oil workers under the influence from crossing the back fences.

    3) provide a screening filter for the development of land next to that pasture.  The parcel is being sold, & the new owner has not yet decided if he will put "houses", or "ranchettes" there.  This is probably the most important function, since DD has served on their water board, & there are NO new connections available - - their little system is at capacity now - - and the new owner has a long history of ignoring regulations, etc.  Russian Olive trees are considered a weed tree where she lives - very undesireable - by everyone except ranchers, who value them for low maintenance windbreaks.  By planting a partial row of these trees, well on her side of the fence, DD shifts the buyiing population for that land from "oooh - what a nice area for a vacation home!"  to "oh - nice windbreak already there for the back pasture for the cows/horses/sheep/goats"  In essence, she is lowering the property "value" of the adjacent land for use as anything but 5 acre hobby farm parcels.  The new owner/developer will have no problem selling parcels without disclosing the possibility of an oil well as a future landscape feature.

    She only needs about 6-8 trees to accomplish all 3 purposes. The rest of the windbreak will probably be elms & maples, since we can do those for either low cost or free.

  • 06-06-2010 8:47 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    Down in N FL, we had a house with a double windbreak, cedars and Rose of Sharon.  The cedars grow fast but will die of apple rust in orchard areas; the Rose of Sharon bushes will provide coverage until the cedars get large, but they sucker out badly and will have to be mowed close.  Not much shelter, of course, for a hurricane or tornado, but it provided a break for our living room area from prevailing winds.

  • 06-07-2010 9:00 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    zohnerfarms:
    During a recent stint working 3 nights in a row, I noticed that the parking lot was COVERED with maple seeds.  Did a google search & discovered that the trees in the hospital parking lot were silver maples!  Picked up a handful of seeds each night, & now that I have them sorted & counted, I have over 240 of the seeds.  I intend to plant them in starter pots, then graduate them up to larger pots over the summer as they grow. The google search also told me silver maples grow fast (which I knew), can have weak wood ( not a problem: the trees will be in a pasture, & if limbs break, they become fuel for the wood stove), and they can be tapped for maple sap, along with the red maples.  Slightly lower percentage of sugar in the sap & a little more sugar sand, but workable for family use.
     

    Thanks to google & their unlimited "directions", today I planted 11 of the silver maple seeds in small starter pots, using the coir as the starter medium.  As soon as they sprout & begin to grow out of the starter pots, I have the "next size up" to transplant them in their little "starter medium" of coir.  Cross your fingers & I will keep you posted.

     

  • 06-07-2010 9:04 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

    I know what wind breakers are what is a shelter belts,utah sounds beautirul.

    chrissanne
  • 06-08-2010 11:15 PM In reply to

    Re: windbreaks & shelterbelts

     As I understand it, a shelter belt is usually at least 3 rows of trees, planted to protect either homes or fields from strong winds, & to prevent erosion.  A windbreak is basically the same thing, but can be a single row of trees.  Shelter belts are usually larger & thicker, planted in areas where there are strong winds.

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