Living one block from the Delaware Bay in zone 7b. Don't see much written about wind as a factor in determining plant choices. This is a corner residential lot. I have chosen the most sheltered spots for annual veggies, but am looking for wind-hardy plants for the most exposed areas. I understand figs do well here, and have heard people grow peaches, but what varieties? Am also interested in ideas for wind breaks that do not block the sun.
Yeah, wind...I was blown away by how far away a wind break can be and still protect. Something like 10x it's height. I'm guessing your wind and sun direction are the same. Potentially, you could put up a clear wall or green house, but it would probably have to be made of glass to withstand strong winds. Plastic bends, catches the wind, and then acts like a kite. Maybe a wall could be made of glass bottles? I'm not sure that would allow enough light.
As for species, from what I know, a lot of it has to do with the plant adapting to the environment and having support in numbers. So, the more you have, the better. Also, start them young with wind so the cell structure adjusts to accommodate the wind before it hardens or forms branches.
Generally, wind break trees are thick, sturdy, fast growing things that serve that sole purpose. Fruit would increase it's likelihood to snap (because of the weight) and cutting it means you don't have the barrier anymore. Still, there are trees you can harvest a little from and still also get the wind break affects (like pine nuts).
Work smarter, not harder.
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b