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Windbreak Guild

 
Joshua Meehl
Posts: 9
Location: Western Minnesota
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Does anyone have any good information regarding a "windbreak guild"?

My wife and I are building a house this summer on a plowed barren field. I want to get a shelter belt established this spring to help prevent our house from getting blasted with cold prairie gales this upcoming winter.

I was thinking some sort of successional windbreak like:
Jerusalem Artichokes -> Nanking Cherry -> Cottonwood/Birch -> Norway Spruce

Also suggestions for nursery plants or other guild companions would be useful too.

Thanks!
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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For year1 I would focus on
annuals such as 8ft corn and 7ft sun hemp.
For a perennial I would hybrid polar, which are know to up to 6ft per year. Empress tree in another one.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1304
Location: Central New Jersey
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The jerusalem artichokes will get tall fast, spread over time, come back year after year and provide food, for you and/or livestock. But not likely more than eight feet tall. Some other sunflowers can get taller, plus edible seeds and/or oil, but still only about twelve feet and annual.

Kenaf, annual where you are, perennial with warmer weather, can reach 18 feet in one season. Fodder and one of the best fiber plants.
I would also recommend the hybrid poplar as a very fast growing perennial windbreak tree. And I might go with a pine that also produces edible seed, rather than just an evergreen windbreak.

 
Joshua Meehl
Posts: 9
Location: Western Minnesota
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Peter & S Bengi - Thanks for the feedback.

I have been reading on propagating hybrid poplars. I can get a bunch of cutting and go from there.

I have been looking at sunflowers as an oil crop, and there are some tall varieties on Seed Savers Exchange that are reasonably priced for broad acre applications.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1261
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I guess that would depend upon your winds. Jeruselum artichoke would get flattened here and would be no good in the winter winds anyway.

Caragana is our first line of defense. Then 3 rows of various pines and then lilac bushes.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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elle sagenev wrote: Caragana is our first line of defense.

The Caraganas have the added benefit of being nitrogen fixers.

The Siberian Pea Tree (Caragana arborescens) will grow to about 20 feet.
The Siberian Pea Shrub (Caragana siberica) will only grow to 2-4 feet.
 
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