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Author Topic: Fruit bushes as a wind break  (Read 9471 times)


  • Joined Sep 2012
Fruit bushes as a wind break
« on: January 07, 2014, 10:35:32 am »
Hi All,

I am looking for something to plant in rows as a wind break for my new vegetable garden.  The land is level and well drained clay,  very sunny,  but windy.  The hedges are blackthorn and I have noticed how well they stop the wind even when bare of leaves,  so I'm wondering if I can plant fruit bushes to get the same effect.

Ideally I want a bush that is fairly "open",  so as not to make too much shade or create turbulence,  as the prevailing wind is from the South.  I'd like to be able to plant in rows 12 to 15 feet apart,  with the space between hosting a variety of vegetables.  The bushes can be fairly low,  the wind-break effect extends to nearly 10 times the bushes height,  allegedly.

Does anyone have an idea for a suitable bush ?  I have Gooseberries growing well in another similar location already,  which I like because they are sturdy and make a good rabbit barrier.  Total length of the rows will be about 500 metres,  so a variety of bushes will be better than just one type.

Any advice about windbreaks is appreciated,  so if I'm barking up the wrong bush please feel free to tell me.



  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 12:51:47 pm »
I'll be watching this thread with interest. We are on the verge of a move to Orkney where the wind is a year round problem for growing.

The two acres we are trying to buy is basically one big paddock enclosed with a dry stone wall. I will need to plant a windbreak round the perimeter if i want to grow anything. My current plan is to use willow round the outside then plant a second inner hedge consisting of a variety of hedgey plants like hawthorn, rose, hazel etc. But i too would like to incorporate some fruit bushes but not sure if things such as currents are vigorous enough to compete for a place in the hedge.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 01:35:32 pm »
Oh, this is a long term plan of mine, not exactly, but to fill up all the gaps in the hedges with currents, flowering shrubs and fruit trees... Good luck to you!
When I visited Orkney, some people used Fushas, don't know how to spell, as windbreaks around their gardens... My Fushas died right back a couple winters ago, so I guess although windy, the temperatures there are maybe a bit more mild than where I am, in angus?


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 02:32:40 pm »
Blackcurrants and Gooseberries are pretty hardy almost anywhere and I know they do grow well in Orkney
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Old Newton Suffolk
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 03:56:17 pm »
I gave seen red current bushes sold for hedging


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 12:15:34 am »
I'd have thought any of the currants (I've got white, black, red and pink) would be worth giving a go. You can prune them into all sorts of shapes (I just saw a photo of a standard redcurrant) so you should be able to plant them in close and prune them to vertical shoots rather than horizontal shoots to some extent. They will take a couple of years to get big enough to be a decent windbreak but they'll get there. Even better, could you put an outer rim of fruit trees? Currants are traditionally grown in orchards between the trees - you'd just have the twist of veg in the middle.

Raspberries would work during summer but pruned back in winter. Or you could put some wires up and train up blackberries, tayberries, loganberries etc. They wouldn't be a dense (certainly initially) as bushes though.

There are lots of other bush type things that I've seen referred to in passing (wineberries? goji?).

We're going to be planting vines shortly and have been looking at windbreaks for that. Apparently Italian Alder is the best -  it needs to be fast growing - but then we need a windbreak that will protect over an acre so it needs to be 12m high. Not edible though.



  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
    • Facebook
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 06:03:07 pm »
I was thinking of replacing a large berberis hedge that is windbreak for my orchard, but it's a good 6' high as I can't prune the tops any more and I'm not sure how high I need or how quick the new one would have to grow before the trees suffered waiting so was assuming it'd have to be blackthorn, elder and other more "wild harvest" types rather than berries or currants.. :thinking: I just wanted something productive rather than simply spiky! 

I'm also building up currants and berries gradually, would love to know about planting among mature apple/plum trees that are quite dense in summer, how close to the trunks not to affect roots or fail to thrive etc.

If there is a prospect of a berry/currant hedge or series of hedges, that would be a great way of making even better use of the space, I've recently planted 3 new fruit trees and am struggling for ideas on where to put the bushes for best effect so will be reading this thread back everytime there is a new post!
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  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 08:36:53 pm »
I don't think the currants would provide much of a wind break for the fruit trees (they'd never get taller than 2m max, I think) - I think it works the other way round there. But most apples and pears should be OK with a reasonable amount of wind, shouldn't they? I've been careful to shelter the more sensitive fruits - peach, apricots, almond, persimmon, cherries - but our apples and pears are having to cope with whatever the weather throws at them. Having said that, now we're planting windbreaks, we'll put one that'll help keep the North winds off the orchard too.

But it's a great idea to go for bigger edibles. How about nut trees? You might not get many once the squirrels have had a go and they're not very fast growing but they get to a decent size. Or, like you say, the standard edible hedging of blackthorn, roses, hawthorn, elder, rowan etc.

I'm not sure about the spacing for trees and currants. I guess it depends on the size of your fruit trees and their root stock. Ours are on MM106 and about 7m apart so I think they'd be fine to have a couple of rows between them. You could send Brogdale (national fruit tree collection - they also do currants and gooseberries) a message. They don't coplant but it's the sort of thing they'd know!


  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 09:36:52 pm »
Some interesting suggestions so far,  much along the lines I was thinking of,  thanks.

The area is currently pasture,  2.5 acres of grass.  The boundary hedges are mostly blackthorn with some large ask and oak.  Underneath the large trees the blackthorn doesn't thrive,  so the wind rips through these gaps in Winter,  I'm taking cuttings of holly to plant in the gaps.

My fruit bush wind breaks will be a permanent fixture,  I'll probably string three strands of wire across the field to support the bushes,  leaving the ends short of the boundary hedge to allow me to get a small tractor in for digging spuds,  spreading muck and rotavating.

I've thought about growing some willow in a wetter field and could perhaps use it to construct a loosely woven "wind fence",  I don't have the money to buy fencing right now.  Is this feasible ?  Perhaps alternate rows of bushes and wind fence ?


  • Joined May 2013
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2014, 08:48:42 pm »
we made an edible hedge from rose hedging and cherry plum hedging. the roses were much more sturdy and cropped really well, inside that we planted loads of fruit bushes. we got a type or rose hedging that only grew 6ft by 2ft wide so no trimming required and is low enough not to create a shadow.
we also planted currant bushes in a very exposed spot and they grew huge, didnt crop quite so well and we lost a few branches to the wind.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:51:53 pm by shygirl »


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Fruit bushes as a wind break
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 04:07:13 pm »
How abou soem honeyberries in there? A siberian honeysicke with edible blue berries and seriously hardy.


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