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Shelterbelt seedlings & design

There are many types of shelterbelts, each with their own design and benefits. 

  • Farmyard Shelterbelt – for protection fo a yard, residence or other buildings.
  • Field Shelterbelt – for soil erosion control of cultivated fields and for protection of crops.
  • Roadside Shelterbelt – for snow control along roads or lanes; also for privacy and dust reduction.
  • Livestock Shelterbelt – for protection of livestock and livestock facilities; also odor control.
  • Wildlife Planting – for improvement of wildlife habitat, including enhancement of field shelterbelts.
  • Riparian Buffer – to buffer between agricultural land and bodies of water, including floodplains and wetlands.

Shelterbelts provide many benefits. For example, the denser the shelterbelt the greater the wind protection. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing wind and wind damage
  • Erosion control
  • Increase moisture for crop growth
  • Protecting buildings
  • Control and trap blowing snow
  • Beautification of landscape
  • Visual screening
  • Provide habitat for wildlife
  • Increase porperty value

It is important to plan your shelterbelt whether it be a small or large project. Planning involves many aspects and considerations. Please click here for many helpful tips and recommendations.

Ash Green

Green Ash is a native plant used extensively for street tree planting across Canada and the northern U.S. This hardy, long-lived hardwood grows to a height of 60ft (20m) and is known for its drought and salt resistance. It is also very resistant to insects and disease. Green Ash makes a very beautiful shade tree in the yard and is a good choice for longevity and a maintenance free windbreak.

Interesting fact: Green ash wood is used in making electric guitars because it can be somewhat lighter than white ash without sacrificing too much in tone. It has a bright sound with long sustain, plus the wood grain is aesthetically desirable to many guitar players. Gibson, Fender, and many other luthiers use ash in the construction of their guitars.

Birch Paper

Paper Birch is used extensively as an ornamental tree. One of the most permament and desirable of all white barked birches. Reddish young barke matures to an attractive chalk-white color. Dark green foliage turns a stiking yellow in fall. It also does nicely in areas where rainfall is more plentiful. Great screen or park tree. Drought tolerant once established.


A rugged shrub that can handle a wide variety of growing conditions.  It has attractive fuzzy, narrow silver foliage on thorny branches.  Produces bright red edible fruit.

Caragana Common

Caragana is an old favorite for the farm. Caragana makes an excellent windbreak, and has proven itself over the long term. It is hardy and very drought tolerant. A fast growing shrub with yellow pea-like blooms in late spring/early summer. A multi-stemmed shrub that grows best on well-drained sites and full sunlight. Toughness is on of the most desirable features.


A shrub or small tree that produces long clusters of small white blooms in the spring followed by edible dark purple fruit that mature September and October. The cherries are great for making jams, jellies, and wine. Commonly used for reclamation and field windbreaks.

Dogwood Red Osier

Red Osier Dogwood is often used as a garden hedge. Deep green foliage turns reddish-pruple in fall. Showy white flowers in summer are followed by bluish-white berries that attract birds in winter. It is frequently used for waterway bank erosion protection and restoration in North America. Its root system provides excellent soil retention. With its deep red bark it provides an attractive shrub even when bare in winter. Very tolerant of wet conditions. Hardy.

Hawthorn Arnold

A broadly rounded, low-branched tree with wide-spreading, horizontal branches. The leaves are oval shaped with serrated edges. Beautiful clusters of white flowers in spring are followed by bright red berries mid-summer. An attractive ornamental tree. Also used in windbreaks and riparian planting. The fruit can be made into jams and jellies.

Larch Siberian

Siberian Larch is a large, cold hardy conifer. Arching branches with clusters of long soft green needles turn golden yellow in fall before dropping.

Maple Amur

Amur Maple is a small, multi-stemmed graceful tree.  Glossy green, lobed foliage in spring with radiant scarlet-red fall color.  Adaptable and extremely hardy and drought tolerant.  Its growth is similar to a lilac.

Maple Tatarian

Tatarian Maple is similar in habit to Amur Maple. Tatarian is a hardy, vigorous, and very fast growing plant. Occasionally grown as an ornamental plant in gardens throughout Europe and also in North America. Features attractive red foliage in fall. It is valued in farmland shelterbelts.

Pine Scots

Scots Pine is a drought tolerant, fast growing evergreen. Pyramidal shaped with an attractive cinnamon-brown bark which stands out as the tree matures. Great for sandy or rocky locations. Durable low maintenance plant. The lifespan is normally 150–300 years, with the oldest recorded specimens in Lapland, Northern Finland – over 760 years old!

Poplar Okanese

Okanese Poplar is a prairie-hardy hybrid developed in Saskatchewan. The hardiest hybrid to date, it was designed to be drought-tolerant, cold-tolerant and disease resistant. It is fast growing and semi-upright, with branch angles approaching 45 degrees with very large leaves which turn yellow in fall. No cotton or fuzz.

Poplar Prairie Sky

A fast growing columar hybrid poplar. The green foliage turns yellow in fall. No fuzz. Excellent cold hardiness. Great for shelterbelts, screening, and windbreaks.

Poplar Sundancer

Sundancer Poplar is a fast-growing, very hardy, disease-resistant, columnar variety. The tree was developed at the Agroforestry Center in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. It is adaptable in many soil conditions and seems to do well across the prairies. Green heart-shaped leaves turn yellow in fall.No cotton or fuzz.

Poplar Tristis

An extremely cold hardy deciduous tree.  Very fragrant balsam buds in early spring.  Dark green summer foliage turns bright yellow in fall.  Nice round canopy.  No fuzz.  Disease resistant.  Suitable for large properties.  Great for windbreaks and shelterbelts.  Helps prevent wind erosion.

Poplar Trembling Aspen

Hardy, fast growing poplar tree with pyramidal form maturing to round-shaped crown. Dark green rounded leaves tremble in the slightest breeze turn a beautiful golden-yellow in fall. Excellent for reclamation.

Sea Buckthorn

A shrub that produces attractive berries high in vitamin C. It is said to be effective in treating various ailments. Many people believe consuming the berries helps with arthritis, infections, asthma, among other things. Because Sea Buckthorn plants have attractive pale silvery-green leaves, dense branches, and large thorns, people like to growm them in ornamental hedges or as a first row in a a shelterbelt. Very popular with permaculture types who use the nitrogen fixing properties of this plant to benefit other nearby fruits.

Spruce Black Hills

A superior spruce tree.  Shapely Christmas tree-type evergreen is a favourite among spruce lvoers.  A cousin of the White Spruce, the Balck Hills Spruce is often called “ornamentally superior” because of its dense uniform shape.  Very hardy’ great for the prairies.  Ideal for acreages, windbreaks, and shelterbelts.

Spruce Colorado

Colorado Spruce is a long-lived evergreen. A majestical pyramidal shaped native tree with rigid, tiered branches. Also known as blue spruce, it grows best in well-drained clay or clay-loam soils, but will tolerate sandy soils if adequate moisture is available. Very cold hardy.