Coastal areas are another where windbreak trees serve a useful purpose. Over 837 MW of wind energy was installed in 2019, making it the best ever year for the sector. Wind-tolerant plants share certain characteristics. In coastal areas, salt damage can also slow growth, so select salt-tolerant plants. For vegetables and fruit trees 50 – 60% shading is usually adequate, but for sensitive and ornamental plants, 70 – 90% is needed. A shelter belt (also called a windbreak) can protect a surprisingly large amount of garden for its size. Most shade plants didn’t evolve in unprotected, windy zones – they are used to the shelter of trees. The southwest of Western Australia, southern South Australia, western Victoria, northern Tasmania and elevated areas of New South Wales and Queensland have good wind resources. These plants are also salt-tolerant. It also reduces the effects of wind. Click for details. For the best advice, talk to your local nursery – they can recommend plants that will thrive in the conditions where you live. They are usually evergreen with small, tough often-leathery leaves and short, stout branches that withstand the wind. Ground-hugging conifers, twisted pines, and sturdy mini-acers can all contribute to a garden where form is the basis of the aesthetic. ... Wind … To establish plants successfully in exposed situations it is essential to form a windbreak or shelter belt against the prevailing coastal wind. It takes time and money to establish an effective shelter break. The plants grow to a height of 1 to 4 metres displaying tall spires of high class open faced flowers, flowering high above the foliage in pink, white, or lavender flower colours. We can see out without too much blowing in. Sue Marling and Fay Sweet’s Suffolk garden is in a windy area, but it is colourful and feels sheltered. There are many good hedging plants but only a handful can tolerate heavy winds and/or salty conditions. When buying a tree especially for a windy area, look for a small plant, and look at the trunk. Typically, if the wind break is wide enough, it can protect for a distance six times its height. Unlike a solid wall, a mound lifts the wind up naturally, leaving a sheltered area in its lee. An deliberately 'animated' garden is a spectacular way to take full advantage of the wind. When you buy a new plant, always repot it into a larger sized pot than it was growing in. Many Australian plants, such as she-oaks, coastal banksias, tea-trees and thick-leaved eucalypts, are ideal. Australia’s best performing wind farms in 2018 Two small wind farms in Victoria have had the highest capacity factors in the country, and more than 60% in the last two months. Semi-permeable shelters are best, as solid walls only divert the wind and create more turbulence. Most can be pruned (handy when there’s wind damage to deal with) and most have a multi-branched habit rather than a single main stem. Wind-resistant shrubs include Australian natives such bottlebrush (callistemon and melaleuca), tea tree (leptospermum), shrubby banksias and coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa). Plant in a sunny or partly shaded position with moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Fine netting used to protect plants from birds, possums, rats and certain harmful insects also contributes some shade – generally 18 – 20 % shade. Other tips. Cut the branch back to the collar, or the thickened area next to the trunk. Plants and screens can help block out nosy neighbours. It may take an adjustment in your thinking, to put aside dreams of delicate blossoms and luscious leaves, but these plants have a charm all of their own. Peter advises on plants for the coast. With 2,800 species of eucalypts (gum trees), these are the trees most commonly associated with Australia. It you don’t have the benefit of existing hedges, you can create barriers using fences or even screens of hessian or shadecloth to help shelter an area while a living hedge or windbreak planting grows. A consultation with a qualified arborist can identify any limbs or trees that might pose a danger to your property and offer a service to remove these in a safe manner. Submit your order online & your local store will be in touch with a quote. If you’re after minimal effort with maximum impact, then making the most of hardy plants is always a good idea. Take inspiration from natural, windswept landscapes and plant low shrubs, ground covers and swathes of ornamental grasses that will bend and move in the wind. Grasses can add movement and grace to a windy garden. South Australia’s coastal plants for the garden. Wind-loving trees include things like Banksia integriofia (coastal banksia), brachychiton acerfolius (illawarra flame tree), and the various bottle brushes, although to establish what's best for your garden, it's definitely worth a chat with someone at your local plant nursery. The plants which love the conditions – the low-growing Alchemilla mollis and the tall spikes of Phlomis russeliana, along with salvias, have spread. Small trees (under 30 feet in height) present less surface area for winds to push against. China doll is readily available in 200mm (8″) pots for around $18.95. They are a lovely versatile plant that can be planted as garden borders or used in garden beds but should always be planted in shady areas of the garden. Gardening Australia podcasts. Even in the home garden, trees can be used as windbreaks to protect plants that are more susceptible to wind damage as well as provide a generally more sheltered environment. 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