Farm Shelter Planting

Well designed, planted and appropriately maintained shelter will require low maintenance and reduce wind speed.

Benefits

  • provides stock shelter  
  • provides shade for stock
  • reduces the risk of soil erosion
  • increases grass growth and crop yields
  • can provide timber and firewood
  • can provide fruit, nuts and honey
  • improves living and working conditions
  • enhances the landscape.

Siting

  • Shelter belts should be as near as possible to right angles to the wind.
  • Distance between shelter belts should be 200-400m.
  • A combination of mixed species in rows and groups of trees which are maintenance compatible creates a more interesting landscape.
  • Avoid creating winter shade on roads and buildings.
  • Plant on the north side of a stream to shade the water and protect aquatic life. A grass sward and trees filters out contaminants from farm fertiliser and effluent runoff. Tall deciduous trees will provide shelter in the paddocks beyond.
  • Ripping (minimum 60cm deep) breaks up soil pans, increases drainage and improves tree growth, survival and stability by promoting better root development.

Design

  • Reduce winter shading by using tall evergreen trees on north/south lines and tall deciduous trees on east/west lines.
  • Make shelter belts as long and continuous as possible.
  • Ensure shelter belts are tall and permeable (50%) and the sheltered zone will extend 10-15 times the height of the shelter belt.
  • Provide at least two rows of trees, one fast growing and the other slow growing.
  • Allow 2-3m between rows of trees and 2m between the tree and the fence.
  • Select species that suit site conditions - species may change along the shelter belt in response to wet gullies or hard bony ridges.

Maintenance

  • Reduce maintenance by using our Combo Tree Protectors
  • Control weed and grass growth around trees for 2-3 years to ensure high survival and rapid early growth.
  • Replace any trees that have died so there are no gaps.
  • Check fences regularly.
  • Form prune trees at 2-3 years to ensure good tree form in the future.
  • Maintain permeability by side trimming, especially with naturally dense trees such as Pinus radiata and Cypresses macrocarpa and Leylands
  • Side trimming increases stability and eliminates overhanging branches which lead to fence damage and stock camping.
  • Avoid topping trees unless necessary for power wire clearance. Topping greatly reduces the sheltered area.
  • Clear fell trees before they are over mature.