Zone 5 drought-resistant conifers for windbreaks?

12 years ago

I didn't want to hijack Ken's thread so I began a new thread.

Does anyone have suggestions on which conifers are best suited to survive hot, dry summers within Zone 5 and would be best suited for windbreak purposes? Our windbreak area is quite far from our house and the water supply so we can't water those trees on a regular basis. We're located in west Michigan, across from a 500-acre soybean field, so we receive a considerable amount of western wind.

I've done a bit of reading on this forum and on other web sites and it sounds like there are several possible choices for my area, including Picea abies, Picea glauca, and Picea glauca. var. densata among others, although some souces conflict when it comes to drought resistance.

Obviously there are many other drough-tolerant conifers but either they are not zone 5 compatible or are difficult to find in our local area. I was also thinking of trying Pinus strobiformis, but although it might have good drough resistance when established I doubt it would handle winds very well.

So far our Picea pungens are suffering most from the drought. We've lost several small ones over the last few years. Our Picea glaucas are doing well, as are the Picea omorikas, although I'm sure all the conifers need water.

My wife and I really enjoy Abies (fir) trees because of the upright cones, but very few firs I'm familiar with can tolerate drought conditions for very long.

Any suggestions for a good drough-tolerant conifer for windbreaks?



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