In the midwest, to slow the prevailing winds, we plant our windbreaks north and west of the area we are trying to protect, such as buildings, farmsteads or livestock facilities.
For an effective windbreak we like to plant a row of deciduous shrubs on the outside row, followed by two rows of conifer trees on the inside. Plant the inside row no closer than 75 feet away from the area you wish to protect to ensure snow has room to drift on the ground, rather than on the roof of your structure.
The spacing within the row and the space between the row varies by species. To get a general idea, shrubs can be spaced at 5 ft within the row and 15 ft between rows. In addition, for trees, use 20 ft within the row and 25 ft between rows – but again, each tree has unique spacing requirements. Refer to our windbreak catalog for detailed plant spacings.