Trees for Shelter

Planting Trees for Shelter Belts – What to plant

Benefits of Trees

Trees are vital instruments in the protection of our environment by carrying out vital functions;

  • Trees provide shelter
  • Trees filter out pollutants,
  • They absorb carbon dioxide
  • Trees release oxygen into the atmosphere.
  • They reduce soil erosion
  • Trees help protect against flooding.

But trees are also used in many different ways. Some people use them for shade, to bring colour and wildlife into the gardens. Other people use them for building homes, creating furniture, or harvesting firewood.

Growing your own Trees for Shelter

There are many different kinds of trees available, all serving many different purposes. You can choose between evergreens, deciduous, conifers, and broadleaf trees, Evergreen trees are hardy and will retain colour and foliage over the Winter months. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in Autumn, with new growth appearing in Spring. Coniferous trees produce cones instead of flowers and broadleaf trees have larger leaves.

Trees for Shelter

Many Irish homes and gardens need trees to plant trees to provide shelter from the weather and the elements. Here are put top 4 picks for the Irish Climate:

  1. Alder
  2. Silver birch
  3. Scots Pine

1. Alder Trees – Alnus glutinosa

Alder trees are native to Ireland and an excellent option for screening and shelterbelts. Their large leaves offer coverage in the Summer months, whilst their feathered and bushy nature offers coverage in the Winter months. They are nitrogen-fixing trees and will improve the quality of the soil in which they are planted. They are also water-loving and will thrive in wet marshy soils and along river banks.

Deciduous trees with large green leaves, feathered formation,s and catkins in Spring months.

They thrive in poor soils, wet ground, and waterlogged ground and will in fact improve the quality of the soil.
Planted as bare root trees in Winter months, can be planted in close proximity in groves, and even as hedging plants in wetter gardens.

2. Silver Birch – Betula pendula

An incredibly popular tree in the Irish garden due to its striking silvery brown bark, fast-growing nature, and attractive formation, Silver Birch is an ideal option for providing shelter and breaking the wind in the garden setting. Silver Birch can be pruned to maintain a smaller nature also.

Deciduous tree with small triangular shaped green leaves on feathered branches. Bark turn silver and peels like tissue paper over time.
Fast growing native tree with feathered branches, green leaves fade to yellow in  Autumn and catkins appear in Late Spring, early Summer.
Can be planted as focal tree in the garden or along the boundary to protect shelter and protection from the wind.

Silver Birch trees can tolerate many soil conditions and will even improve soil quality. They are a vital tree for insects and birds, providing shelter and food to over 300 species of insects.

3. Scots Pine – Pinus sylvesteris

An evergreen option for providing shelter, Scots Pines are another excellent native choice.

Evergreen conifer with blue/green needle-type leaves. The bark develops fissures as it ages.
Scots Pines are drought and frost-resistant and will grow well in dry soils.

Scots Pines are available as smaller bare root plants or as a larger 3ft Root Balled plant. Root ball plants are planted in the hessian net, which composts down over time.