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wind break

2938 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  tsmullins
Hey yall. I am trying to think of things I could plant that would eventually be a wind break, and benefit the bees. Anybody got any ideas?
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We have a ligustrum hedge that works well as a wind break. I believe it's also called privet. I keep ours pruned to 8' high. If you allow it to bloom I've heard that the bees love it. I've always pruned ours right before it blooms in order to prevent it, I can't stand the smell of them, but this year I'm letting it bloom to see if they like it.
Windbreaks can have several advantages for a beekeeper. The function itself, wind-breaking, is an advantage on its own, because reduced winds make it easier for the bees to forage, something I suspect is not usually considered. Then, the trees will provide 3 main ingredients: pollen, nectar, and/or resin. Considering which of these resources your bees may be most lacking would be a good first step in choosing what to plant. Then you need to consider when they need it. Need early pollen? Willows, perhaps. Nectar in the season? Linden? Ideally, windbreaks should have more than one species, and even better if you don't use the same clone (cultivar) for all of those in the same species in order to widen the timeframe of usefulness.
Wax Leaf Ligustrums down here are covered in bees when they bloom. I have a few and I've noticed so many bees at once that I can hear them before I get close.

I've also seen them on Spring Bouquet Viburnum, but don't remember if there were a lot of them. If Viburnums are hardy where you are, you might look into that one.
Peep---------willows and cottonwood provide early pollen. I planted bush honeysuckle along the drive--early nectar source.
manzanita, sumac and currents fill in well along with berries. Depends on size of windbreak you want--plant with enough room so you won't need to prune or trim much. Crabapples attract bees. I also have black locust trees- they have spines and sucker nicely. They flower later than fruit trees. The wild grapes try to climb everything. I like dual use plantings....
Black locust. Linden. Any kind of fruit trees (wild plums do well here). Tulip poplar. Pussywillow. Red Osier Dogwood.

Evergreens do better at breaking the wind in the winter (the leaves don't fall off) but don't do much for the bees. Thuja. Cedar. Pine.
I am trying to think of things I could plant that would eventually be a wind break, and benefit the bees. Anybody got any ideas?
You could consider hazelnuts. Fast growing, dense and produce edible nuts. Bloom in late winter.
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