The Q&A Archives: Wind blocking and shade

Question: I live just south of Houston, Tx and my house is in what used to be a rice field. We have no buildings or trees to stop the wind and in heavy rain we have standing water. What trees or shrubs would be the best to plant to provide shade and a wind block?

Answer: The best windbreaks consist of multiple rows of trees planted on the north and northwest side of the property. Evergreens are commonly used because they retain their foliage throughout the year and are branched out close to the ground. When the lower branches die, the addition of shrubs or small trees will help fill in the lower part of the windbreak.

Tall shrubs to consider include:
American holly (Ilex opaca); Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica); Cherry laurel ( Prunus caroliniana); Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius); Oleander; Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) and Russian olive (Eleagnus angustifolia).

Medium shrubs - Glossy abelia (abelia grandiflora); Green pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira) and Indian hawthorne (Raphiolepis indica).

Suggested trees:
sycamore, cypress, madrone, ash, olive, or whatever evergreen you really like.

Good luck with your windbreak!

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