Kiowa Conservation District
303-621-2070 ext. 101
Helping People Help The Land in Elbert County Colorado
Prepare the area in advance.
Fall is the best time to till for a windbreak. This will allow freeze/thaw action to break up large clods through the winter. Furthermore, the soil will mellow and store moisture received during the winter months. If you have sandy soil that could blow during the winter, wait until spring to prepare your site.
Four to eight foot wide strips per row is a good rule of thumb for planting trees.
It's best to have five to seven rows of trees, but a minimum of three will give you protection. Take into account the space you have available, the species you have planned, and the purpose of the planting. Do not plant a windbreak on the north side closer than 100 feet to the house. For a southern and eastern exposure windbreaks, deciduous trees can be planted closer. End rows at least 20 feet from roads and driveways.
If you only have room for three rows, use Rocky Mountain Juniper and Ponderosa Pine. Use shrubs on the outside rows if you have at least three rows already. These shrubs help the snow to drop within the windbreak, providing winter water to your windbreak.
Make sure any windbreak is at least 50 feet away from any septic system.
See our tip on Planting Trees for proven methods to help make your windbreak planting a success.