En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 31, 2013

From: Gonzales, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Windbreaks for Monterey County, CA
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am trying to find good wind breakers for Monterey County area, very windy in the valley.

ANSWER:

Let me reference a previous Mr Smarty Plants answer that has some great references for the “what, when, where, and why” of windbreaks. These cover the basic reasons for planting windbreaks, their design, and plant selection.  As you didn't mention more than wanting a windbreak, this may help you focus in your requirements a bit.  A similar discussion was also done by Mr Smarty Plants for a “Windbreak for Eastern Kansas”.

Looking for plant lists for you to consider,  this page from Los Pilitas Nursery addresses California native Windbreak plants.  Mr Smarty Plants also has a set of recommended plants for Northern California. This list can be sorted, so you can choose trees of a good size and/or tall shrubs and get a list of plants to consider. My first choices would tend to be plants that the Wildflower Center recommends which are also on the Los Pilitas list.

Several reasonable choices appear on both lists including Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry), Arctostaphylos densiflora (Vine hill manzanita), Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita), Ceanothus impressus (Santa barbara ceanothus), Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon), Mahonia pinnata (Wavyleaf barberry).  I noticed that few of the taller trees were on the nursery list, ones on both lists included Pinus radiata (Monterey pine) and Prunus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf cherry).  Several Oaks and even taller trees can be found on the Wildflower Center recommended list. Pay attention to the range and characteristics of the species; that will help you make choices that will do well on your property.

 

From the Image Gallery


Saskatoon serviceberry
Amelanchier alnifolia

Santa barbara ceanothus
Ceanothus impressus

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

California live oak
Quercus agrifolia

Balsam fir
Abies concolor

California laurel
Umbellularia californica

More Trees Questions

Live oaks dropping brown leaves
August 02, 2014 - We have three live oaks and one of them has been dropping quite a few brown leaves over the past two weeks. I looked at pictures of trees with oak wilt and ours do not look like the pictures. I als...
view the full question and answer

What is the scoop on dwarf cedar elms?
April 29, 2009 - Several years ago, I purchased a small plant from a San Antonio wholesaler that was identified as a "Dwarf Cedar Elm." My brother had also purchased a few from there. No one there knows anything a...
view the full question and answer

Why is Rhus aromatica more deer resistant from Seattle
December 07, 2009 - I have a large area that I would like to cover with Rhus aromatica. My landscaper says that in his experience, Rhus typhina and glabra in this area are heavily browsed by deer. I noticed in your dat...
view the full question and answer

Looking for copper beach (Fagus sylvatica)
December 05, 2008 - I would like to purchase a copper beech tree to plant in CT as a gift. Where can I find one to purchase?
view the full question and answer

Thornless honeylocust trees for Taylor TX
September 21, 2009 - I live in Taylor, Williamson County, in central Texas and I am interested in selecting trees for my backyard. I can't really explain (it may be my Midwestern roots), but I would like to plant three t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center