Aims: Today the windbreak hedge is a dominant feature in the agricultural landscape. It allows water to be economized, it protects livestock from the wind, cold and sun, it improves the productivity of crops and shields them against heavy rain. It protects buildings and helps prevent soil erosion as well as encouraging wildlife and creating a better balance amongst the animals.
At a time when everyone is talking about pollution and climate change, the planting of a windbreak hedge is really a good gesture for the environment.
Effectiveness: A well thought out windbreak hedge has an effect that is 15 times its height. For example if it reaches 20m high then its beneficial impact is felt for a distance of 300 m!
Composition: The windbreak hedge is made up of 3 elements:
1- Trees with a high canopy typified by a trunk without any branches for the first 4 or 5 metres followed by a clump of branches above. The clump provides the hedge with its high level protection. The trees used can reach upto 25m in height when fully grown.
2- Coppiced trees which have been cut very short in the second year and which will form a copse. These will give the hedge its protective qualities in its intermediary section.
3- Bushy shrubs ensure the resistance of the hedge at its base. They also provide cover and food for the animals and birds.
Adult height: Up to 25m.
Period of interest: All year
Planting distances: Every metre.
Mulch: To avoid weeding, think to install Weed Control Fabric before planting.
Example of Windbreak Hedge:
Planfor Windbreak Hedge
Bamboo Windbreak Hedge