Please help me find a plant suitable for a windy site!

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by ravenhallfarm, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. ravenhallfarm

    ravenhallfarm New Member

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    We live close to the ocean (around 300') in Comox on a 2.5 acre property. Our local geography works in such a way that we are pelted by really strong winds most of the fall and winter. The winds are VERY STRONG (enough to almost knock over an adult sometimes)! Two years ago we planted a leyland cypress windbreak along the windward side. We started with small plants (about 3 feet tall) so that they could establish some root systems to secure themselves against the wind. They are growing (albeit slowly), but I am concerned that the wind will prevent them from becoming very dense. I tried planting a second row of cherry laurel in front of the cypress, but the ones exposed to the wind are either dying or barely holding on to life.

    We have enough room for a 40' wide windbreak, and I am eager to have some protection as soon as is reasonably possible (10 years?) because I am a small scale farmer and need to protect my crops. Does anyone have any recommendations for conifers that can survive and do well in these hard conditions? The soil is very sandy and the windbreak will be exposed to salt spray coming in on the wind. The plants will be irrigated by a drip system and I will amend the soil and mulch to try to give the plants a head start on our very difficult site.

    Pines tend to grow very sparsely in this neighourhood, and don't offer much if any wind protection (they lose their branches and look more like big bonsai!).

    Douglas fir look beautiful when young, but they drop their lower limbs as they age. Things grow quickly here due to our long growing season and mild temperatures, and I worry that a Douglas Fir windbreak would be ineffective in 20 years.

    I am considering Norway spruce, but I don't know if they would cope with our salt spray and sandy soil.

    Any suggestions are really appreciated! I have also considered doing a hedgerow of mixed species, but I am concerned that deciduous species just won't offer enough wind protection for our strong winds.

    Thank you so much!

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