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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wow, this is such a wonderful post with so much information on the different types of windbreak shrubs and trees that are all suitable for a coastal garden. I like the fact that you can give such wonderful information on the different type. My mum owns a coastal garden and I am sure this will give her some new idea for plants that she should grow.
Hello Henderson, thank you for your kind comments and interest.
I enjoy writing and sharing knowledge, thank you for sharing with your mum. I bet she has a very pretty garden.
Hello there,thanks for this awesome article It is of great help to me as a lover of plants. I think this article has real information that would change how we act towards plants especially how and when we plant specific types.
It is very useful to know which are best for Coastal, seaside areas in terms of which plants can tolerate strong winds and seasalt exposure.
I am pleased to help you with your plant choices. Evergreen shrubs and trees are valuable for any garden but these especially so in coastal locations.
Thank you for your comments.
Hi Louise, thanks for this great post. I now have new ideas for shrubs in my garden.
Talking about gardening, Recently I planted grass (Bentgrass type) in my backyard as a way to reduce the growth of weeds. So, the back of my house still has nothing but just grass.
I also think to plant a mango tree, because the fruit can be enjoyed alone. In addition, I am also interested in planting bay. If I want to plant a bay, is there any special treatment for the soil media before I plant it? And what about watering? Are there things that I should pay attention to?
And if I want to plant this, why is it more cost-efficient if I buy the whips?
Thank you for your comments. Bay trees are easy to care for, they prefer full sun or some shade in well drained soil. They need watering well in the growing season and in very dry weather.
Whips are basically shrub or tree saplings, usually bought as bare root plants. They are cost effective if you need lots of plants in order to plant a hedge for example.
Not in a coastal but I am in need of some kind of windbreak. We live on one of the highest points in our area. It feels like it is windy all year round, even when other areas are calm. The rear garden area is the one I would like to concentrate on in the coming year. Traditional fences don’t fare well and after a few short years they start to fall apart.
I thought It would be a good idea to start planting some trees so that they will grow over the next few years and provide the added protection needed. Our neighbours on the one side, planted leylandii, which does the job but is now proving to be more than a handful to keep in check, plus there are large dead patches which are unsightly. I like the look of the Strawberry Tree plus the bees like it, which is a good thing nowadays, as they are becoming more scarce.
Thank you for your comments, I love to hear about everyone’s different gardens.
I agree that Leylandii can become a huge problem, particularly if they are not looked after. They become far too big for most gardens.
Most shrubs and trees make good windbreaks, evergreens give the added bonus of having all year round interest.
The strawberry tree is very pretty and tougher than it looks, very hardy and robust.
Best wishes with your garden.
Hello Louise, evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees have lots of benefits to other plants and animals in general. I want say thank you for taking your time to share these best evergreen windbreak shrubs and trees for coastal gardens.
These shrubs and trees are also beautiful to behold. I’d love to plant some of these someday.
Hey Mr Biizy,
Thank you for your comments.
I agree totally that all shrubs and trees benefit our environment and wildlife.
I hope you can plant some of these lovely specimens for you to enjoy.
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I think this is a real great blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
Hi, thank you for taking the time to say you enjoyed this. Your comments are much appreciated.