A windbreak (shelterbelt) is a planting usually made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and to protect soil from erosion. They are commonly planted in hedgerows around the edges of fields on farms. If designed properly, windbreaks around a home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling and save energy. Windbreaks are also planted to help keep snow from drifting onto roadways or yards.[1] Farmers sometimes use windbreaks to keep snow drifts on farm land that will provide water when the snow melts in the spring. Other benefits include contributing to a microclimate around crops (with slightly less drying and chilling at night), providing habitat for wildlife[2], and, in some regions, providing wood if the trees are harvested.

Windbreaks and intercropping can be combined in a farming practice referred to as alleycropping. Fields are planted in rows of different crops surrounded by rows of trees. These trees provide fruit, wood, or protect the crops from the wind. Alley cropping has been particularly successful in India, Africa, and Brazil, where coffee growers have combined farming and forestry.[3]

A further use for a shelterbelt is to screen a farm from a main road or motorway. This improves the farm landscape by reducing the visual incursion of the motorway, mitigating noise from the traffic and providing a safe barrier between farm animals and the road.

The term "windbreak" is also used to describe an article of clothing worn to prevent wind chill; this term is favored by Europeans whereas Americans tend to use the term "windbreaker".

Fences called "windbreaks" are also used. Normally made from cotton, nylon, canvas, and recycled sails, windbreaks tend to have three or more panels held in place with poles that slide into pockets sewn into the panel. The poles are then hammered into the ground and a windbreak is formed. Windbreaks or "wind fences" are used to reduce wind speeds over erodible areas such as open fields, industrial stockpiles, and dusty industrial operations. As erosion is proportional to wind speed cubed, a reduction of wind speed of 1/2 (for example) will reduce erosion by over 80%.

Aerial view of field windbreaks in North Dakota
Svappavaara 1965a
One of the original buildings at Svappavaara, designed by Ralph Erskine, which forms a long windbreak

Windbreak aerodynamics

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-15117-0005, Infografik, Windschutz, Ertragssteigerung
An East German windbreak promotion poster, 1952

In essence, when the wind encounters a porous obstacle such as a windbreak or shelterbelt, air pressure increases (loosely speaking, air piles up) on the windward side and (conversely) air pressure decreases on the leeward side. As a result, the airstream approaching the barrier is retarded, and a proportion of it is displaced up and over the barrier, resulting in a jet of higher wind speed aloft. The remainder of the impinging airstream, having been retarded in its approach, now circulates through the barrier to its downstream edge, pushed along by the decrease in pressure across the shelterbelt's width; emerging on the downwind side, that airstream is now further retarded by an adverse pressure gradient, because in the lee of the barrier, with increasing downwind distance air pressure recovers again to the ambient level. The result is that minimum wind speed occurs not at or within the windbreak, nor at its downwind edge, but further downwind - nominally, at a distance of about 3 to 5 times the windbreak height H. Beyond that point wind speed recovers, aided by downward momentum transport from the overlying, faster-moving stream. From the perspective of the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations these effects can be understood as resulting from the loss of momentum caused by the drag of leaves and branches and would be represented by the body force fi (a distributed momentum sink).[4]

Not only is the mean (average) wind speed reduced in the lee of the shelter, the wind is also less gusty, for turbulent wind fluctuations are also damped. As a result, turbulent vertical mixing is weaker in the lee of the barrier than it is upwind, and interesting secondary microclimatic effects result. For instance, by day sensible heat rising from the ground due to the absorption of sunlight (see surface energy budget) is mixed upward less efficiently in the lee of a windbreak, with the result that air temperature near ground is somewhat higher in the lee than on the windward side. Of course this effect is attenuated with increasing downwind distance and indeed, beyond about 8H downstream a zone may exist that is actually cooler than upwind.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Windbreaks". National Agroforestry Center. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  2. ^ User, Super. "Role of trees in agriculture". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  3. ^ Withgott & Brennan 2008, p.249
  4. ^ Wilson, 1985; Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol. 21
  5. ^ Argete & Wilson, 1989, Agricultural & Forest Meteorology, Vol 48
  • Wilson, 1985; Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol. 21
  • Argete & Wilson, 1989, Agricultural & Forest Meteorology, Vol 48


  • Withgott, Jay; Scott Brennan (2008). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (3rd ed.). San Francisco, California: Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN 0131357050.

External links

Atatürk Museum Mansion

Atatürk Museum Mansion (Turkish: Atatürk Müze Köşkü) is a historic house museum in Ankara, Turkey. It was the residence of President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk between 1921 and 1932, during the early years of the Republic. The museum is situated on Çankaya St. within the Çankaya Campus. It is situated right beside the Çankaya Mansion.

Bay of Concepción

The Bay of Concepción is a natural bay on the coast of the Province of Concepción in the Bío Bío Region of Chile. Within the bay are many of the most important ports of the region and the country, among them Penco, Talcahuano, and Lirquén.

Quiriquina Island, located to the north in the mouth of the bay provides a windbreak. The island creates two entrances to the bay: Boca Chica and Boca Grande. Boca Chica, between Quriquina Island and the Peninsula of Tumbes, measures 2 km wide and in its narrower part 1,500 metres, with shoals to the sides and although water depth is 15 metres, the passage of large ships is reduced to 400 metres. Boca Grande, is 5 km wide, with depths of 35 metres, which makes it commodious for large vessels.The sector of the bay where the Port of Talcahuano is located is known as the Bay of Talcahuano, and is protected by the Peninsula of Tumbes and Quiriquina Island.


Bushland is a blanket term for land which supports remnant vegetation or land which is disturbed but still retains a predominance of the original floristics and structure.Human survival in bushland has a whole mythology evolving around it, with the legendary stories of Aboriginal trackers and bushrangers deeply entrenched in Australian folklore. Bushland has been a traditional source of wood for fuel and bushfood.Bushland provides a number of ecosystem services including the protection of water quality, stopping erosion, acting as a windbreak, and trapping nutrients.

Bushland is prone to bushfires. This presents a challenge to authorities as infrastructure and habitations encroach into bushland areas.

Cermak–McCormick Place station

Cermak–McCormick Place is a station on the Chicago Transit Authority's Green Line. The station, designed by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects and engineered by Primary Consultant T.Y. Lin International, is located at Cermak Road and State Street in the Near South Side neighborhood of Chicago. The station includes three entrances – one on each side of Cermak Road and one at 23rd Street. The main station entrance is built on the north side of Cermak road.The new station replaced the original Cermak station that opened on June 6, 1892, closed on September 9, 1977, and was demolished in 1978. The new, fully accessible infill station was engineered and constructed into and around the existing, historic elevated rapid transit structure while maintaining full transit service. The station's signature element is the structural steel tube that serves as a windbreak for passenger boarding areas. Both the former and the new station are situated south of Roosevelt/Wabash and north of 35th–Bronzeville–IIT.

On January 17, 2012, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced at a press conference that the Cermak station would be rebuilt in order to serve McCormick Place. The $50 million investment is also intended to boost the development of residential neighborhoods in the City's Near South Side and revitalize the adjacent historic Motor Row District. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new station was held on August 29, 2013.

The new Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station opened on February 8, 2015.

Constitution Place, Canberra

Constitution Place is a park in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The area was named in February 1998 by Prime Minister of Australia John Howard during the course of the Fourth Constitutional Convention on the options for an Australian republic. The park is located to the south-east of Old Parliament House and adjoining the Old Parliament House Gardens and nearby to the National Archives of Australia. It is semicircular in shape, with curved road frontages on King George Terrace, Walpole Crescent and Queen Victoria Terrace. There is also a windbreak of trees, which were planted by Charles Weston as superintendent of parks and gardens in Canberra.

The focal point of the park is an information board, seat and unveiling plaque.

Energy-efficient landscaping

Energy-efficient landscaping is a type of landscaping designed for the purpose of conserving energy. There is a distinction between the embedded energy of materials and constructing the landscape, and the energy consumed by the maintenance and operations of a landscape.

Design techniques include:

Planting trees for the purpose of providing shade, which reduces cooling costs.

Planting or building windbreaks to slow winds near buildings, which reduces heat loss.

Wall sheltering, where shrubbery or vines are used to create a windbreak directly against a wall.

Earth sheltering and positioning buildings to take advantage of natural landforms as windbreaks.

Green roofs that cool buildings with extra thermal mass and evapotranspiration.

Reducing the heat island effect with pervious paving, high albedo paving, shade, and minimizing paved areas.

Site lighting with full cut off fixtures, light level sensors, and high efficiency fixturesEnergy-efficient landscaping techniques include using local materials, on-site composting and chipping to reduce greenwaste hauling, hand tools instead of gasoline-powered, and also may involve using drought-resistant plantings in arid areas, buying stock from local growers to avoid energy in transportation, and similar techniques.

Grand Bassin

The Grand Bassin is the largest body of open water along the Canal du Midi. It is in Castelnaudary, France and covers some 7 hectares (18 acres). Once a scene of intense economic activity, it is now a major pleasure port used by tourist craft. It holds the water reserve for the four locks of Saint-Roche.

Official opening ceremonies for the Canal du Midi were held here on 19 May, 1681.The basin is exposed to considerable winds, historically even blowing horses and men into the water. A windbreak called Cybele Island (French: Ile de la Cybelle) was built in 1754.

Great Shunner Fell

Great Shunner Fell is the third highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire, England, and the highest point in Wensleydale; at 716 metres above sea level. In clear weather the summit affords views of Wensleydale to the south, Ribblesdale to the south west and Swaledale to the north, as well as views into Cumbria and County Durham beyond the A66.

The Pennine Way passes over its summit, on the way from Hawes to Keld. The popularity of this route had eroded vegetation from a strip 70 m wide across the moor, which has been alleviated since 1996 by the construction of a path made of flagstones.The summit holds a cross-shaped windbreak of which the triangulation pillar has been built into the northern 'arm'.

Great Sleddale Beck, which becomes the River Swale after its confluence with Birkdale Beck has its sources on the northern slopes of Great Shunner Fell, while the southern slopes drain into the River Ure and Wensleydale.

The dominating rock type in the area is limestone, but millstone grit forms outcrops extensively on Great Shunner Fell, and coal seams have also been worked on its slopes.Great Shunner Fell is the most southerly remaining outpost in Great Britain for the yellow marsh saxifrage, Saxifraga hirculus.

Hexamine stove

A hexamine stove, or hexi-stove, is a cooking stove that uses hexamine fuel tablets. The fuel tablets are also known as hexamethyl-enetetramine or methenamine. The stove's function is use in emergency situations. It acts as a platform for cooking and windbreak for such cooking. The hexamine stove is designed to fold into a compact size for storage.

Lincoln Township Mausoleum

The Lincoln Township Mausoleum, also known as the Zearing Mausoleum, is a historic building located in Zearing, Iowa, United States. It is situated along the western edge of Zearing Cemetery, near a windbreak of trees. The mausoleum is a single-story concrete structure, rectangular in shape, that was completed in 1912. Most of the building is capped with a gable roof, but the front has a series of three flat roofs. The exterior walls are covered with stucco, painted white. It combines elements of the Mission, Late Gothic Revival, and Neoclassical styles. The interior features a central hall with 100 crypts on both sides. They are stacked in four horizontal rows, and are faced with marble panels. The building is significant for its "monolithic concrete construction used to build a public mausoleum," which is a rarity in Iowa. The mausoleum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.


Masseira is a unique form of traditional farming practised in Póvoa de Varzim and Esposende in Portugal.

The masseira technique increases agricultural yields by using large, rectangular depressions dug into the sand dunes of the region, with the sand piled up into banks on the sides of the depression. The term masseira, from the Portuguese for "kneading trough", refers to their characteristic shape. This practice has fallen into disuse.The masseira technique relies upon a rectangular depression surrounded on four sides by sloping banks, known as the quatro valos ("four walls"). Each individual depression covers an area from 1,000 to 10,000 square metres. Grapes are cultivated on the banks to the south, east and west, and trees and reeds on the northern slope act as a windbreak against the prevailing northern wind. Garden crops, such as cabbage, carrot, lettuce, spinach, onion, tomato, potato, and radish, are grown in the central depression. The sandy soil of the banks stores the sun's heat, enhancing the growth of the grape vines. The banks protect the central area from the wind, and the depression is also cooler and damper than the surrounding land. A change in temperature is created by banks only a few metres high. Allied with the four vine-covered slopes, the masseiras function as a sort of greenhouse. Large amounts of fresh water are required to irrigate the crops, together with sargassum seaweed (gathered from the nearby Atlantic Ocean during the summer) for fertilization.

This type of agriculture was invented in the 18th century by the monks from the Monastery of Tibães, and was once widely used along the coasts of Póvoa de Varzim and Esposende. Nowadays, this type of agriculture is endangered due to the increase in popularity of conventional greenhouses, the chaotic urbanization of the coast, and beach sand being extracted for civil construction. The City Hall of Póvoa de Varzim granted 4,948,377 m² (1,223 acres) of its territory for the exclusive use of masseiras as a way to protect this type of traditional agriculture.

Meall Ghaordaidh

Meall Ghaordaidh is a mountain in the Southern Highlands of Scotland, approximately 10 km north-west of Killin.

The mountain can be ascended via Glen Lochay starting to the north-west of the Allt Dhùin Croisg near Duncroisk, via an eroded path leading north-west through peat bogs to the summit; alternatively, an ascent can be made from Glen Lyon starting at Stronuich via one of two spurs that lead to the summit (Creag an Tulabhain or Creag Laoghain). The summit is marked by a large circular rock windbreak, within which there is a trig point.

Multipurpose tree

Multipurpose trees are trees that are deliberately grown and managed for more than one output. They may supply food in the form of fruit, nuts, or leaves that can be used as a vegetable; while at the same time supplying firewood, add nitrogen to the soil, or supply some other combination of multiple outputs. "Multipurpose tree" is a term common to agroforestry, particularly when speaking of tropical agroforestry where the tree owner is a subsistence farmer.

While all trees can be said to serve several purposes, such as providing habitat, shade, or soil improvement; multipurpose trees have a greater impact on a farmer’s well being because they fulfill more than one basic human need. In most cases multipurpose trees have a primary role; such as being part of a living fence, or a windbreak, or used in an ally cropping system. In addition to this they will have one or more secondary roles, most often supplying a family with food or firewood, or both.

When a multipurpose tree is planted, a number of needs and functions can be fulfilled at once. They may be used as a windbreak, while also supplying a staple food for the owner. They may be used as fencepost in a living fence, while also being the main source of firewood for the owner. They may be intercropped into existing fields, to supply nitrogen to the soil, and at the same time serve as a source of both food and firewood.

Common multipurpose trees of the tropics include:

Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) – the most common tree used for living fences in Central America, firewood, fodder, fixing nitrogen into the soil.

Moringa (Moringa oleifera) – edible leaves, pods and beans, commonly used for animal forage and shade (it does not fix nitrogen as is commonly believed)

Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) – used for food, purified water (juice from inside the coconut), roof thatching, firewood, shade.

Neem (Azadirachta indica) – limited use as insect repellent, antibiotic, adding nitrogen to the soil, windbreaks, biomass production for use as mulch, firewood.Ideally most trees found on tropical farms should be multipurpose, and provide more to the farmer than simply shade and firewood. In most cases they should be nitrogen fixing legumes, or trees that greatly increase the farmer's food security.

Open terrain

Open terrain, open country or open ground is terrain which is mostly flat and free of obstructions such as trees and buildings. Examples include farmland, grassland and specially cleared areas such as an airport.Such terrain is significant in military manoeuvre and tactics as the lack of obstacles makes movement easy and engagements are possible at long range. Such terrain is preferred to close terrain for offensive action as rapid movement makes decisive battles possible.Wind loading tends to be high in open country as there are few obstacles providing a windbreak. This affects the design of tall structures such electricity pylons and windmills.

Pigeon Bush railway station

Pigeon Bush railway station was a single platform, rural railway station in an area of the South Wairarapa district known as Pigeon Bush, about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south-west of Featherston, in New Zealand’s North Island. The station was between Featherston and Cross Creek stations on the Wairarapa Line. The station was bypassed when the Rimutaka Tunnel was opened.

Prunus arabica

Prunus arabica is a species of wild almond found across the Middle East. It is a broomlike shrub typically 0.75 to 2 m tall, with brown bark. Its leaves have a 5-8 mm petiole and the leaf blades are 15 to 44 mm long and 3 to 10 mm wide. Its inflorescences have dark red hypanthia and sepals (green on the interior of the sepals), and white, pale pink or pink petals. The flowers are borne on a pedicel about 3 mm long, which lengthens to 6 mm when the fruit is fully developed.It prefers to grow in arid or semiarid areas at 500 to 2700 m above sea level. A full genetic and morphological analysis suggests that Prunus scoparia may be conspecific with it; certainly it is its closest relative. It is occasionally cultivated for erosion control, as its brushy growth form makes a good windbreak.


Svappavaara (Meänkieli: Vaskivuori) is a locality situated in Kiruna Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden with 417 inhabitants in 2010. It is a mining village. Mining was started around 1650. Large scale iron mining started in 1965. The mine was closed in 1983, but enrichment of iron ore from the mine at Kiruna is still going on. The mine is owned by LKAB, and there is an ongoing project to open it again for production around year 2015.

The designers of Fermont, Quebec in northern Canada were inspired by Svappavaara and similar Swedish towns with regard to the windbreak building. In 2010, a portion of Erskine's windbreak building, "Ormen Långe" was demolished.

Ulmus minor 'Schuurhoek'

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Schuurhoek' was originally an old, nameless clone cultivated c.1880 in the vicinity of Goes, Netherlands, which was taken back into cultivation as 'Schuurhoek' by the van't Westeinde nursery (now 'Kwekerij Westhof') at 's-Heer Abtskerke, Zeeland, in the 1950s. It was identified as U. carpinifolia (:U. minor) by Fontaine (1968), though treated as a cultivar of U. × hollandica by some authorities.

Windbreaker (disambiguation)

Windbreaker may refer to:

Windbreaker, a thin jacket

Windbreaker, (or Windbreak or Breeze Blocker) a sheet of material (usually Hessian) supported by poles (usually wooden) to protect from the wind - see Windbreak

Windbreaker (Transformers), a Transformers action figure

Trophy (countermeasure), aka "Windbreaker", an active protection system (APS) designed to defend both light and heavy armored fighting vehicles from anti-tank missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.