North Dakota Forest Service


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We define a windbreak as a system of multiple rows of trees and shrubs primarily designed and engineered to modify the flow of wind. Many tree plantings block the wind and yet are still not windbreaks. Do you have a windbreak?

Most Likely a Windbreak:

  • L-shaped or U-shaped tree planting surrounding a rural residence or farmyard consisting of multiple rows of trees and shrubs with each row being the same species within the row, but most rows being different from one another.
  • Long, linear tree plantings across a farm field, usually from field edge to field edge. May be a system of single rows or one multiple-row planting.
  • Living snow fence parallel to a roadway

If your trees don’t fit into these categories, fear not! NDFS offers Technical Assistance to owners of all TYPES OF FORESTS! Even if your trees aren’t a Windbreak, we still want to help you maintain and protect them. Please contact us for more information!

Windbreak Assessments

Request Forestry Technical Assistance

Windbreak Renovation Initiative


Windbreak Resources

Please follow the links below to learn more about practices you can implement to enhance, protect, and preserve your windbreaks.

Mitigating Drought Impacts on Young Windbreaks

How to Care for Your New Tree Planting

Get the Most Out of Your Windbreak

North Dakota Forestry Best Management Practices –Manual 

Emerald Ash Borer Toolbox

Conservation Trees for ND

Tree Water Management Fact Sheet, NRCS 2006

Synthetic Mulch (Fabric) Management Fact Sheet, NRCS 2005

Warm-Season Grass Cover Between Tree Rows, NRCS 2011

Expected 20-year Tree Heights, NRCS 2017

Tree Care and Management, NRCS 2011

Herbicide Weed Control in Windbreaks, NRCS 2007

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