Creating a Native Country Windbreak

Ideally, windbreaks should comprise both tall and medium-height trees with lower-level shrubs, giving the natural planting both height and density. For best protection, we recommend a layered planting approach with a mix of species suited to your area.

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Creating a native country windbreak

Ideally, windbreaks should comprise both tall and medium-height trees with lower-level shrubs, giving the natural planting both height and density.

Wind randomly blowing across a field doesn’t act how you expect it to; so, planting a multi-level windbreak works to guide it over or around the vital structures you’re looking to protect, lessening its direct impact. A multi-level planting strategy gives the windbreak density making it more steadfast in the face of intense wind.

When considering where to plant a windbreak, you should consider the areas you need to shelter, the topography of your property, and the direction of prevailing winds - those that could cause the greatest damage.

If you plant along a fence-line, which is often the case on farms and less built-up residential areas, windbreaks give both structural protection from winds and visual protection from neighbours. To work best they should consist of between two and five rows of considered planting, but no less than two rows.

For farmlets, we recommend 3 rows where tall trees are planted 5m apart on each side of a lower planting of smaller trees and shrubs spaced 2-3m apart. Looking at the mature windbreak planting front-on, you are looking for a mix of heights between rows of taller trees that act as pillars on either side.

Species choice is important and ideally should be a native common to your area or evergreen exotic selections that have shown to suit the temperature and climatic conditions of your immediate area. Utilising species with a diverse range of various heights will create dense foliage coverage from ground level to treetops, corralling that problematic, destructive wind away from structures and livestock.

If you have horses or livestock, it is also widespread practice to have another fence separating your animals from the windbreak trees and shrubs, to both assist with tree establishment, and as a preventative measure to ensure livestock do not ingest something they shouldn’t.

Finally, it is recommended that the length of the windbreak be 10 times the height of the tallest tree used in your windbreak. So if your tallest tree selection is Eucalyptus leucoxylon megalocarpa at 8m tall (fully mature), the length of the windbreak to protect your property should be approximately 80m long. This ensures there is scope for the wind to safely travel around the structures you are looking to protect.

Below are some suggestions for trees that we feel work well for the creation of a native farm windbreak. There are many others too, so contact us if you are unsure about your needs.

An upright small to medium tree that is native to Australia. It has similar wood to Acacia melanoxylon when young but A. implexa flowers in summer. A drought tolerant upright small tree with an open crown, long slender green leaves and pale yellow flowers in Summertime. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
An erect conical shaped tree which has dark fissured bark which looks black at certain times of the year. This fast growing tree bears showy red male flowers in spring. The female has small spiky cones 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This tree has a corky light brown bark that has deep fissures.The leaves are thin green needles like a pine tree. There are female and male trees with gold male flowers in Autumn and female rounded warty cones. In Winter the branchlets turn a beautiful copper colour. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This distinctive native tree is found on the east coast of Australia. It has rough patterned bark and long green leaves with a silver underside. Pale yellow, cylinder-shaped flowers can be seen in summer to winter and can be up to 12cm long. The seed pods stay on the branch for long periods and look very ornamental. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L 100L
This Australian native is a medium sized tree, usually multi stemmed, stout and solid in its growth habit. It is a much smaller growing tree than regular E. cladocalyx. It has yellow and blue-grey coloured bark with a mottled appearance. The foliage is a glossy dark green on top with paler undersides. During the warmer months, yellow flowers are produced, followed by large gumnuts.
This Australian native tree is small to medium in height with a compact, spreading habit. Technically this is a more compact growing form of the regular Yellow Gum Eucalyptus but produces bigger flowers. It has a nice spreading habit with beautiful olive-grey spear-shaped foliage. Similar to 'Rosea', it produces large pink-red, bird attracting flowers from late winter to spring and grows to a similar height with a good canopy. 40cm/27L
A lovely medium sized tree for open spaces with a smooth powdery white, cream or grey trunk with red flecks through it. It naturally forms one trunk with a wide spreading canopy and grows relatively fast. It has narrow, thin green leaves and white flowers in the summer. It is adaptable to a wide range of conditions, known to tolerate poor soils and is a good choice for areas high in clay and shallow, rocky soils.
This tree is a medium to tall grower, best known for its unusual bark which varies from smooth to rough all the way down the trunk. Often the bark varies presenting an array of colours including grey, yellow, red and brown and occasionally, can be very dark and rough. Very fragrant, white flowers appear during the warmer months. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This native Australian tree forms a wide canopy with dark green leaves which have a peppermint scent when crushed. The bark is grey or grey-brown and is quite fibrous and finely fissured. Often the branches develop a pendulous habit to the foliage as the tree gets older. It is a beautiful tree with small creamy white flowers borne from October to January. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This is a small ornamental native tree made famous by the lyrics of 'Waltzing Matilda'. It has a smooth white trunk and glaucous, bluish-green leaves. In summer, flowers are cream in colour and relatively small. This tree is usually grown for its attractive white trunk and irregular form, so would make a lovely feature tree in the right setting. Bird and insect attracting. 40cm/27L
This Australian native tree has a dense growth habit with long green leaves bearing silver undersides. The leaves can have spiky or smooth margins. The large yellow cylinder shaped flowers are a stunning feature to the tree and attract native birds and insects. The flowers are borne from spring to autumn. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
An attractive Australian native tree/shrub with an ascending branch structure. The green firm leaves are long and slightly curved. The flowers start out green and become a unique looking pinkish flower in spring. This tree attracts native birds.
This is an attractive small evergreen which can be grown as a tree or shrub. Long leathery leaves are thick and smooth with prominent veining and have a tendency to wave and curl. Fascinating, cherry red, ball-like flowers appear from autumn to late winter, adorned with long, white pin-like stamens, earning its common name of 'Pincushion Hakea'. Native to southern parts of Western Australia, it is a hardy, drought tolerant plant which attracts birds into the garden and can also be useful as a cut flower. 40cm/27L
This is an attractive small tea tree growing to 5m tall with gently arching branches and charming silver foliage. Small white flowers are produced in spring. 40cm/27L
This is a small-growing eucalypt usually seen as a tall, spreading shrub that retains its juvenile foliage into maturity. Young leaves, stems and inflorescences have a powdery white bloom. Foliage is strikingly silvery-grey and round in form. Cream flowers are produced between May and November and the large fruits that follow are cup-shaped. 40cm/27L
This is a small native tree that exhibits patches of grey, white and a reddish-pink bark in older growth on smooth trunks. Its foliage is dark green to greenish-blue and narrow in shape but still holds that typical pauciflora leaf; large, thick and waxy. The flowers attract butterflies, bees and birds. Originating from the alpine region of Victoria, this tree comes from an improved seed source, selected specifically as a more reliable and in many ways, a better-looking alternative to Eucalyptus pauciflora 'Little Snowman'. 40cm/27L

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