What is shelterbelts/windbreak trees?
Shelterbelts definition: A windbreak or shelterbelts is a plantation usually made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and protect soil from erosion. They are commonly planted in hedgerows around the edges of fields on farms.
Or, Shelterbelts/Windbreak is a wide range of trees, shrubs, and grasses planted in rows that go right across the land at right angles to the direction or the prevailing to defect in the movement to reduce wind. Or, velocity and to give general protection to cultivated area wind erosion and decreasing effect of hot winds.
What is the purpose of shelterbelts?
- To deflect air currents.
- To reduce the velocity of winds.
- To provide general protection to the downwind areas against the effects of wind erosion.
- To protect the leeward areas from desiccating effects of hot wind.
- To provide fuel, fodder timber, etc.
- To protect field crops/livestock from cold/hot wind.
- To prevent soil erosion.
- To reduce evaporation from farmlands.
- To improve the microclimate.
- For fencing and boundary demarcation.
- Shape and Composition
- Density and Width
Shape and Composition
A typical shelterbelt has a triangular cross-section. It can be done by planting tall trees in the center, flanked on both sides, successfully on other trees, tall shrubs, and low spreading shrubs and grasses. Then there should be a systematic mixture of trees, shrubs, and grasses, keeping their height, shape, crown form, longevity, and resistance to insect and usefulness in view.
Density of Width
A certain amount of penetrability is desirable in shelterbelts. It has been found from experience that through solid walls provide considerable protection immediately behind them on the leeward side, and the effect disappears after a short distance. There is a great fluctuation in velocity on the leeward side. But it is a partially penetrable shelterbelt, the zone of influence is much greater, and the velocity curve shows a smooth, slowly declining trend. Thus partially penetrable shelterbelt is more effective. This penetrable is done by planting trees and shrubs adequate in their rows.
The planting of shrubs should be done by 1 to 1.5 m apart and trees 25 m apart in rows. The width of the shelterbelt depends upon the climatic condition, wind velocity, and soil type. The central arid zone research institute, Jodhpur, has advised data in the arid zone, and wind velocity does not exceed 20 km/ hr. A typical belt may consist of 35 rows, and in the same cases, seven rows may be planted at a distance of 4 m.
The orientation of the shelterbelt depends upon the wind direction and velocity, particularly during the vulnerable season, and the shelterbelt should be should oriented as early as possible at right angles to the prevailing wind or the wind or to the winds that are more damaging to the prevailing time of the year. In the case where winds blow from different directions, a shelterbelt should be raised in quarlerges.
Height and Spacing
The height of the shelterbelt is more important because it affects the distance to which protection will be given on the leeward side. The higher the trees forming shelterbelt, the greater is the beneficial effect on the leeward side. A shelterbelt protects the area up to 15 to 20 times the height or belt.
Best trees for windbreak/shelterbelts
The choice of species to be raised in shelterbelt is by the climate, soil, and topography of the area. It is better to grow local species that may serve the object in view, as they can be easily established. The selected species should be fast-growing, drought-resistant, and unpalatable to the animal. It should not be leaflets at a time where protection is required. The following fast-growing and tall trees/species are recommended for shelterbelt/windbreak.
- Shrubs: Calotropica, procers, crotolonia, brubia, calligoman, polygonides, clearadendron pheromones, cassia curriculum, dedonae visosa, jatropha curcas, sysabenia aculeate.
- Small trees: Acacia jacyumental, Acacia lecucophillea, Saydora oleodes.
- Shelterbelt trees: Acacia Arabica, A. senggal, Albrizza labback, A. ordirchata, Dalbergia sisso. Lannnea coronmendoice, Prospopis julifora, Progemia pinnata, Eucalyptus spp.
Benefits of shelterbelts/windbreak trees
- Moderating effect on temperature. It can increase or decrease the temperature.
- It can increase the humidity from 1 to 50% because of faster evaporation from soil and crops retained due to reduced air movement.
- It retards the evaporation.
- It increases the soil moisture.
- It reduces the wind velocity and wind erosion of soil from the orchard.
- It increases fruit production by minimizing wind damage.
- Field windbreaks protect a variety of windsensitive crops, control wind erosion, and increase bee pollination and pesticide effectiveness.
- Livestock windbreaks help reduce animal stress and mortality, reduce feed consumption, and help reduce visual impacts and odors.
- Living snow fences keep roads clean of drifting snow and increase driving safety.
- They can also spread snow evenly across a field, increasing spring soil moisture.
- It stores carbon.
- Crop yield and economic potential is increased.
- A wildlife habit is created for birds and insects.
- Windbreaks improve the local environment.