The Q&A Archives: Can Emerald Arborvitae Withstand Very Strong Winter Winds?

Question: We live in a high elevation area that is constantly windy especially during the winter. Will arborvitae withstand our harsh windy cold weather? Our purpose for these shrubs would be to act as a "snow fence" for us. There are many snow drifts around our home and we would like to find a natural way of creating a wind breaker. The perfect place would be to plant them along our property line creating a dual purpose (privacy and wind breaker). Please respond as the planting season is upon us. Thank you.

Answer: Thuja occidentalis is cold hardy into the far north, however, it is susceptinble to snow, ice and wind damage so would not be recommended for windbreak or snow fence use. You might want to consult with your County Extension (736-3394) as to what they would suggest for such a use given the soil type and other planting considerations, space and conditions you have.

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