Tree Planting

5 Windbreak Trees that will Blow you Away

By Sheereen Othman | December 2, 2016

A windbreak is a practical and inexpensive way to shielding heavy winds from your home, but windbreaks have additional benefits unrelated to wind. Planting trees along the outer edge of your yard or property is smart way to create a privacy barrier, buffer noise, reduce heating and cooling costs, protect livestock and add appeal to your property. Trees are also more likely to outlive any fence you build for the same purposes.

Numerous factors will influence which trees you plant: evergreen, deciduous, same species, variety, longevity, hardiness zone, the options are plentiful. Here are five evergreens that make for great windbreaks and look beautiful. We even offer a mixed screen windbreak collection to simplify your search.

Watch Ask an Arborist: Why Should I Plant Evergreens?

  1. American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

Hardiness zones 3-7, slow growing, 40-60 feet high

Winter Garden in the early morning. Thuy under snow

Check out Tree Care Tips for the Tree of Life: Arborvitae

2. Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis)

Hardiness zones 3-8, slow to medium growing, 40-70 feet high

Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)Branches, defocused snowy background

3. White Spruce (Picea glauca)

Hardiness zones 2-6, medium growing, 40-60 feet high

ornamental white spruce at winter on the snow.

4. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca)

Hardiness zones 4-6, medium growing, 40-70 feet high

Snow covers Douglas fir trees in a forest near Mount Rainier National Park.

5. Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

Hardiness zones 2-7, slow growing, 50-75 feet high

A beautifully shaped Blue Spruce tree covered with snow in a field.

Catch up on The Five Most Popular Christmas Trees for more evergreens!

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  • Reply Steve N. December 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Great, but not much for zone 8.

  • Reply Brian Smith December 6, 2016 at 8:32 am

    BTW: in the northwest, Doug Fir grow 3 to 4 feet per year and top out around 150 to 180 feet tall.

  • Reply Terri Persaini December 7, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I am new to harbor day and joined and just got my fall planting three trees. Here in Michigan the ground will be freezing in next two to three days. I am all set to go read up on what to do except. HOW DO YOU MAKE A WATER BASIN IN THE HOLE MY TREE IS GOING IN NEED ANSWER QUICK. Do not have much time thanks

  • Reply Melanie Pollard March 15, 2017 at 9:22 am

    In the Atlanta, Georgia area, border trees are the only trees developers are leaving in order to maximize the building envelope. The results being that the trees left standing alone, without much room left for their CRZ roots to grow with the 3-4 inches of top soil we have, the trees often fail – with deadly results. Planting “clusters of trees” where their roots can grow together and help hold each other up during wind and rain is the safer, more natural way to plant. Planting native trees is also the best choice for survivability during droughts which are becoming the norm.

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