Windbreaks or shelterbelts are plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs established for environmental purposes. The height of the tallest row and overall density of foliage and branches of an individual planting greatly influence the size of the nearby area that is protected or sheltered.
Windbreaks or shelterbelts are “environmental buffers” that are planted in a variety of settings, such as on cropland, pasture, and rangeland, along roads, farmsteads, feedlots, and in urban areas. They are generally established to protect or shelter nearby areas from troublesome winds. Such plantings are used to reduce wind erosion, protect growing plants (crops and forage), manage snow, and improve irrigation efficiency. Windbreaks also protect structures and livestock, provide wildlife habitat, improve aesthetics, and provide tree or shrub products. Also, when used as a living screen, windbreaks control views and lessen noise.
OFS Foresters are available to provide on-site recommendations, information and design for new windbreaks and shelterbelts in addition to providing assistance to renovate existing plantings.
For more information about windbreaks, visit the National Agroforestry Center's Website.