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.
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.