We are trying to establish 8 acres into a mixed garden / orchard / chickens / livestock to produce the good for home delivery. I am wanting to make wind shelter / food forest / privacy hedge round the edge of the property. I have planted an outer layer of tree lucerne/tagasaste, wattle, etc, that will make a hedge (with electric wires as well) to keep the animals out and give them leaf forage and seeds for the chickens. I plan to have in side this various decidous fruittrees. What I would also like to add is some ever green taller trees that are wind hardy. I want this to protect my citrus and avocado trees that I will grow with my vegetables inside the protective hedge. We are 7km off the West coat of New zealand so while we often get -2C frosts, it never gets below -4C on record. We do, however have very strong cold winds straight from Antarctica, with no land mass in between to stop them. Pine trees grown tall, but cut pruned into thin hedgerows are a common tree here, but we would like something that would be a better "food forest" variety.
Another option would be a thin poplar tree - it does loose its leaves in winter, but would it still have enough branches to slow down the wind? The animals will eat the leaves when they fall.
Although the following link was written for winter windbreaks on the northern Plains of the US, there may be some information of use in your windbreak design. In particular, the succession of plantings from shrubs to taller trees and back down to shrubs again allows for 'sculpting' of the wind as is courses across your property and enables you to plant some things in more protected areas as you are envisioning. Lots of small fruit possibilities in the small shrub through small tree size category and the linked document provides a small listing of possible species to use. For the taller trees, I would go with some sort of evergreen if possible as they do a great job at wind blocking in the winter months. Good luck!
If I understand you you are looking for an evergreen tree that produces food. As such, look into pinion trees. Pine nuts are edible and the trees seem to match what you are looking for. Not sure which would be best for you so research it.
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posted 2 years ago
Hi thanks for the ideas. I had considered pine nuts, but thought that the pines might acidify the soil to the detriment of the other fruit trees below them. Annie