Click here to view videos about living snow fences and windbreaks in Wyoming.
LIVING SNOW FENCES
Living snow fences, when properly designed and located, can assist with control of relocated snow, provide stable and high quality wildlife habitat, enhance environmental
aesthetics, furnish winter protection for domestic livestock, and reduce highway snow control costs.
Living barriers take time to reach effective heights and densities following establishment. Some sites may not support living fences. In arid climates effort is required to establish trees and shrubs. However, by using certain techniques, establishment can be accomplished.
Barrier features which affect drifting should be known and understood when designing living fences. Such features include height, density, and length.
Location and design of living fences are not necessarily the same as for farmstead, livestock, or field wind and snow barriers. Density, distances, species, and wildlife components commonly used in the latter may need to be altered to meet snow storage and other objectives of living fences.
A number of materials and techniques can aid in living fence establishment and growth on arid sites. Other than drip systems, plastic and polypropylene fabrics can aid dryland plantings.
High winds not only have a major effect on the microclimate and increase the wind-chill index, but also cause structural damage to buildings, fences, shade trees, vehicles, and other property from both the physical force of the wind and abrasion from wind born particles. The most appreciated benefit of an effective windbreak is the reduction of wind velocity, thus modifying the climate to reduce heat gains in summer and heat losses in winter. The correct arrangement of trees and shrubs in a windbreak can reduce wind velocity as much as 85 percent.
Heating and cooling of homes is a major use of energy. Energy use in residences represents 17 percent of the total energy use in the United States. Through proper windbreak establishment, an energy savings of 15 to 20 percent can be experienced by the average home owner each year.
Please enjoy some informative videos on living snow fences and windbreaks. For assistance in designing and planting your living wind barriers, make sure to contact your local conservation district.