UKTC Archive

Re: Drought tolerant windbreak

Subject: Re: Drought tolerant windbreak
From: Jonathan Mills
Date: Aug 24 2006 06:41:32
Trees and hedging is vital part of a farm structure as it provides
home base for birds and insects not just wind break.  Therefore choose
trees that will encourage these such as blackthorn, hawthorn, Field
maple, Scots pine etc.

It is the activity of the birds and insects which will help with soil
fertility and vitality. Dead insects provide excellent fertiliser for
plants, lots of bio-available nitrogen (ask the Venus fly trap if your
are not sure). Our country side was covered in hedges for this very

Happy selections

Jon Mills

On 23/08/06, Pete Hughes <> wrote:
There's a reasonable number of orchards round these 'ere parts that use
birch as a wind break. I think it's a good species - the density isn't a
problem; in fact I would say that some of the species suggested so far
on this thread may be too dense. The ratio of solid to hole (technical
terms ;-) ) shouldn't be much more than 50:50, otherwise you will get a
lot of turbulence on the leeward side of the windbreak. The main problem
I've found with birch is getting them established, unless you use very
small cell grown stock (40-60cms at most).

Another possibility might be a hawthorn hedge with some feathered ash
that could be allowed to develop into standard 'hedge trees'. Easy to
establish and good for wildlife. Unless you're hoping to grow apples an'
pears (cor blimey, guv'nor!), in which case the hawthorn might give you
problems with fireblight and scab (Have I remembered correctly that
you're establishing a smallholding? If so, you might find some good
advice about shelterbelts and windbreaks in books about commercial fruit
growing, such as don't use Poplar as a windbreak if you're growing
lettuces - it's true!!!)


Pete wrote:
> In a message dated 23/08/2006 17:00:21 GMT Standard Time,
> writes:
> This is  a place that reckons it's one of the leading sivicultural
> nurseries in the  UK, I queried the Birch with him a few times but he was
> adamant. Thanks  for the book titles.
> The Birch I've seen dying in the current drought (it's peeing it down here
> at the moment BTW) have all been in lawns, compacted to high heaven.  As a
> pioneer species you'd expect Brich to put up with quite poor conditions? 
> regularly see em growing out of chimneys and the like suggesting they will 
>  up with some extremes, in fact there's one growing out of my boundary wall
> at  the moment.....
> Bill.

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Jonathan Mills
Cookley Landscapes and Arboricultural Consultants
17 Westhead Road North
01562 XXXXXX
07944 XXXXXX

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