Types of Windbreaks

Windbreak Benefits

Windbreaks reduce the harsh winds by diverting and filtering them through the trees.

You can:

  • Increase your home value (and beauty)
  • Save on heating and cooling costs
  • Protect your buildings, crops, and a lot else
  • Enhance your outdoor recreational opportunities
  • Support wildlife
How windbreaks work

Windbreak Types

If you’re ready to plant a windbreak, the Texas A&M Forest Service West Texas Nursery can help. With a variety of high-quality and low-cost tree seedlings available, our foresters and technicians will help tailor the windbreak to your land.

 Homestead Windbreak

  • Cut heating and cooling costs, reduce dust and noise, and prevent snow drifts with Homestead Windbreaks. This kind can significantly increase the value and look of your home.


  • This windbreak should extend at least 100 ft beyond the designated area.​​​
Homestead windbreak

 Field Windbreak

  • Conserve soil moisture and reduce soil loss. These Field Windbreaks are specifically designed to protect crops and orchards, control snow deposits, and create a habitat for wildlife.


  • This windbreak should consist of at least 3 rows of trees and shrubs
  • A series of windbreaks may be needed to protect large areas
  • The distance between windbreaks should be no more than 20 H (H = the mature height of the tallest tree).
Field windbreak

 Livestock Windbreak

  • Help keep cattle warm in the cold, and thus spend less on feed. With the extra weight gain rather than body heat, report a lower animal death rate, made possible by the Livestock Windbreak

​Feedlot tip:

  • Surface water runoff should drain away from the windbreak.

​Rangeland tips:

  • Livestock need easy access to the protected area.
  • All water in the protected area should drain away from the windbreak.
  • L- or U-shaped windbreaks should be planted perpendicular to prevailing winds.
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs can be added to attract wildlife.
Livestock windbreak

Living Snow Fence

  • Multipurpose plantings, these Living Snow Fences prevent snow from drifting across roads and provide a habitat for wildlife. During the cold months, they can protect livestock from the winter temperatures-- all while storing 16 times the amount of snow that a traditional wood-slat fence will hold.


  • Plant this windbreak parallel to and north of the road or highway being protected.
  • Make this windbreak with two adjacent rows of evergreens and at least one row of shrubs planted 40 feet to the north of the windbreak to serve as a buffer.
  • The first row should be at least 200 feet from the road’s edge.
  • The Living Snow Fence should extend 50 feet beyond the section of road that’s being protected.
Living Snow Fence