Fencing vs plants as windbreaks

I have become aware of issues that are arising in client’s gardens following the erection of new fencing. These fences that are causing the problem are probably the dearest; but they are causing issues with wind turbulence.

Any solid structure, and this includes fences, that blocks the force of wind, will cause wind turbulence on the other side of the fence in the direction of the wind. So the more expensive fences that are being erected, with the extra panel in timber fences, in-between the small gap, is actually causing problems with gardens in the wind path.

If erecting a fence, the best option is one that allows some degree of wind through. Colourbond fences also cause problems for the same reason as the timber fence with the extra panel. And they are dearer because they are more solid.

Plants provide the best wind barrier because they filter the wind, allowing some of the force of the wind through the foliage. But in really windy spots, these need to be correctly selected species that also require formative pruning while young if native plants.

Staking plants for too long is not a good idea, especially with native plants. If the plants are tipping with the wind, either they haven’t been formative pruned, or they are inappropriate to the position and they aren’t anchoring because the soil is wrong for the plant.

My advice is not to be coerced into paying that ‘little bit extra’ to get that so-called better fence, because it is actually the wrong decision if in a wind zone.