Monthly Archives: February 2022

Windbreaks: Trees to Reduce Your Winter Heating Bills

Planting trees around homes is a tried and true concept used to conserve home energy use. Everyone knows that summer temperatures are cooler in the shade. But in winter, it is easy to forget that trees can help cut winter energy costs too. With some forethought, you can save money by planting evergreen trees and shrubs on the north and northwest sides of your property.

Windbreaks, which consist of rows of trees placed perpendicular to prevailing winds, were greatly used in the Midwest to protect exposed houses, livestock, and crops from severe winds. The use of shade trees was especially emphasized during the 1970s to combat the energy crisis caused by Arab oil embargos. The recent concern over global warming has made tree planting and energy conservation important issues again.

“Planting evergreen trees and shrubs in certain areas around your house can create an effective windbreak,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “Generally, most cold winds come from the north or west. An option for those sides of the building is to plant a dense row of evergreens. This will provide additional insulation for your building. Be sure to plant them far enough from the foundation to allow for growth.”

Creating a windbreak

The ultimate goal of planting a windbreak is temperature control. A landscape design that considers wind speed and direction can offer homeowners benefits ranging from reduced energy costs to more efficient landscape water management. “Wind barriers can channel winds away from your house and cut down on cold drafts getting in,” Andersen advises.

Choosing the best trees and shrubs for your situation is extremely important to ensure an effective, long-lasting windbreak.

  • Trees or shrubs need to be winter hardy and should have a good history of being suitable for the site and soils.
  • Select multiple species of trees and shrubs so, if there is a failure in a row, the windbreak is still effective.
  • A mix of deciduous and coniferous plants is best and should be selected based on the purpose of the planting.
  • Use native plants whenever possible.

Windbreak Tree Spacing

It might seem like planting trees close is the best way to keep the wind out. But tightly packed trees will become a problem once they mature. The more space you put between trees in the beginning, the longer your windbreaker does its job.

  • If you’re planting rows of shorter trees, leave about 10 feet of space between each tree and 15-to-20 feet between each row.
  • If you’re planting rows of taller trees, leave 15 feet between each tree and 25 feet of space between rows.
  • Remember as these trees grow the space, they’ll fill in that space.

As the spring is coming, now is a great time to visit Fannin Tree Farm and look at some of our suggested trees for a windbreak in North Texas to be ready for next winter. These are just a few of the trees Fannin suggests for windbreaks.

Every location is different, and there is no perfect design that will be effective in all situations. Call Fannin Tree Farm and one of our tree experts can evaluate your planting sites and help plan an effective windbreak that will offer homeowners a variety of benefits for years to come.

Quick Facts

Windbreaks are plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs that are planted for:

  • Wind protection.
  • Controlling blowing and drifting snow.
  • Wildlife habitat.
  • Energy saving.
  • Living screens.
  • Reducing livestock odor.

The effectiveness of a windbreak depends on choosing the right trees and shrubs and planting them at the right density and spacing.

Click here or Call Fannin Tree Farm at (972) 747-9233 for a free quote on creating a windbreak at your own home!

Time Out in a Treehouse

As we come through the winter freeze, I can’t help but look forward to spring and all the outside time that is on the horizon for me. As I look out at all our trees here on the sales lot, I can’t help but think about the majestic live oaks, Chinese pistache and Bur Oak’s that someday may make a treehouse come true for a little princess, a fierce pirate, or a book worm. As a kid, treehouses were so cool to me. A house in the trees with the birds, squirrels, butterflies and lightning bugs. A get-a-way from a stinky brother, a place a princess lived.

Growing up in the country with the trees all around me, I used to dream of a treetop treehouse I could live in forever and be the princess of. Who knew that would become a trend and a possibility! Not only are there kid treehouses but now there are adult treehouses, resorts that boast treehouses, and shows on TV where people build over the top treehouses. I never dreamed that treehouses would become so cool and chic not only for kids but for adults, too. In fact, I wish someone would send me to time out in a treehouse.

It brings a smile to my face that someday some little boy, girl or even an adult might get a treehouse in one of our trees and not only will the tree bring joy to them but they will provide years of special memories for a “no girls allowed,” a reading nook, a pirate hang out, a chic adult only treehouse, a weekend retreat or all the other many things a treehouse can be.

Take a look at some of the cool treehouses we have found. When you find a treehouse you are ready for, let Fannin Tree Farm know. We can provide a treehouse ready tree, or we can provide a treehouse tree for the kids or grandkids in years to come.

Click here or Call Fannin Tree Farm at (972) 747-9233 for a free quote on a treehouse-ready tree!