Best evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees, strawberry tree


Best Evergreen Windbreak Shrubs and Trees for Coastal Gardens

When thinking about which evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees for coastal gardens you may want to grow, one of many things that needs to be taken in to consideration is shelter.

By this I mean shelter against the elements for all your other plants, ornamental features and for yourself.

In coastal areas we can plant various evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees to help protect smaller plants.

These useful shrubs and trees act as windbreaks, absorb noise, produce shade when required, as well as privacy. They also benefit wildlife by providing shelter, food, foraging and habitat and increase biodiversity within your garden space. For these reasons hedges are far better than any other boundary structure.

In coastal areas you also need to look for salt tolerant evergreen shrubs and trees.

I have posted an article featuring many foliage and flowering plants for a coastal garden but what about shrubs and trees for coastal gardens?


What About Shrubs and Trees for Coastal Gardens?

There are surprisingly many options here. Shrubs and trees that are indigenous to seaside locations. They are a valuable addition to any garden, not just coastal.

Most gardens, whatever their situation will benefit from a shelter belt against prevailing elements.

I have found several salt tolerant evergreen shrubs and trees for coastal gardens to share with you that are particularly valuable in sea side areas that have salt laden air.

The shrubs can be planted as hedging along a garden boundary to act as a windbreak for the garden overall. Or place them as specimen plants to help protect smaller groups of more delicate flowering plants.

Evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees for coastal gardens
Evergreen Windbreak Shrubs and Trees for Coastal Gardens

I have selected plants in the following two categories:

  • Evergreen Windbreak Shrubs
  • Evergreen Windbreak Trees


Evergreen Windbreak Shrubs


There are many varieties of these pretty, compact shrubs. Their quick growing habit make them a good choice for hedging. Red, pink or white flowers appear in summer through to October. They have glossy evergreen leaves.

Escallonia Evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees for coastal gardens
Best Evergreen Windbreak Shrubs for Coastal Gardens


Hypericum are perfect as hedging plants and grow well in many soils.

They produce bright yellow flowers in summer followed by red or pink berries.

As a semi-evergreen shrub, in colder areas they will shed some of their leaves.

Hypericum flower and berries
Evergreen Windbreak Shrubs


Choisya is an easy, fully hardy plant to grow, needing very little attention. Vivid green foliage and white, highly scented flowers allows for all year interest. Prune it lightly after the first flowering in spring and early summer, it will produce a second flush of blooms.

Tolerant of most soils and situations.


Rosemary is an aromatic, culinary, Mediterranean plant with a bushy habit. It produces purple, white, blue or pink spires of flowers throughout summer.

It is a woody perennial with evergreen spiky foliage and is a great choice for a low growing hedge to provide some cover and protection for smaller plants.

Garryia elliptica

Garriya is a pretty shrub or tree, with long greenish-white catkin like flowers in late winter to early spring. One of its common names is coastal silk-tassel.

They are easy to grow and will form a dense, bushy evergreen hedge rapidly.

Position in full sun or partial shade in fertile, free draining soil.

Evergreen Windbreak Trees

Ilex Altaclerensis (Highclere holly)

A hybrid which can be anything from medium to large evergreen shrubs or small/medium-sized trees up to about 15m in height. Leaves are glossy with very few spikes. Female plants will produce red or orange berries.

This holly is excellent for use as tall hedges as they are resistant to pollution and can withstand coastal exposure.

Griselinia littoralis (New Zealand broadleaf)

New Zealand broadleaf is a fast-growing, large evergreen shrub with light green, broadly oval leaves. Small flowers are yellow-green, followed by purple fruits on female plants.

Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)


The strawberry trees is a large evergreen of bushy habit, with textured, brown bark and dark green, tough leaves. It produces clusters of white urn-shaped flowers and strawberry-like red fruits.

Very popular with bees.

Strawberry Tree Flowers and Bees
Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree
Evergreen Windbreak Trees

Bay Laurel

Bay is a large, erect evergreen shrub with aromatic, leathery leaves that can be used in cooking. Flowers are small, pale greenish-yellow, in dense clusters. Glossy black berries.

Happy in full sun or partial shade. Ideal for exposed sites of any aspect.

Bay Laurel Tree Evergreen Windbreak Trees for Coastal Gardens
Bay Tree
Evergreen Windbreak Trees for Coastal Gardens

Willow leaf Podocarpus

Willow leaf Podocarpus is an evergreen conifer growing to a medium-sized tree of bushy, upright growth. Arching or drooping branches with dark, glossy willow-like leaves.

Monterrey cypress

A large evergreen tree growing to 30m, perfect for forming a tall protective hedge. These trees are columnar when young, they age into wide-spreading and irregular growth with dark green foliage.

Full sun in any aspect. Happy in any soil type as long as it is free draining.

When Should You Plant New Shrubs?

These plants are salt tolerant but are a great choice to include in any area. Used as a windbreak/ shelter they will afford protection for your garden as a whole as well as for particular areas of your garden.

If you have a large garden then you can also plant further boarders within the space to create garden rooms. This will allow your creativity to expand and you can grow a diverse range of plants, knowing that they will have some shelter from wind and/or frost.

With a new garden it is important to get these key elements in first so that you can see the overall shape and design at the early stages. This way you can then decide which delicate, less hardy plants can be grown in each section of the garden.

If you are buying many plants in order to plant hedges then I recommend you buy bare root, young plants known as whips. It is the most cost-efficient method.

They can be bought and planted in autumn when they are dormant. Young plants are easily planted at this time and will establish quickly because the soil still retains summer warmth and is workable.

Roots will establish well, before the cold frosty, winter weather and will be able to put on strong healthy growth in spring. Planted at this time means that there is less watering to do than there would be if you planted in summer.

For specimen planting you can buy pot grown plants that are larger and will give instant impact.

I hope that you have found this article useful not only for coastal garden plants ideas but also for hedging and screen shrubs and trees for any type of garden situation.

Please share this with friends and family and on social media.

If you have questions or views pop them in the comments box below, I always reply and answer your queries promptly.

Happy Gardening

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