Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

White fir
Abies concolor

California laurel
Umbellularia californica

More Trees Questions

Magnolia Not Doing Well in Round Rock, Texas
June 25, 2011 - I have a Magnolia grandiflora in my back yard, planted on May 20th of this year. Located on a western exposure with no shade and about 18' tall x 10' wide. I've been watering it every 3-4 days or ...
view the full question and answer

Stressed live oaks from Lakeway TX
August 19, 2013 - I have some Live Oaks who appear to be stressed (Ball Moss is becoming very prevalent on some of them) during the drought in Central TX. How often and how long should I water them? Thank you very much...
view the full question and answer

What caused purple heartwood in my Tuliptree?
June 15, 2009 - My Tulip tree was hit by lightning and all bark from the base of the tree up to 50 feet was blown off. The tree also sustained a significant crack through the trunk. When the tree was cut down, we...
view the full question and answer

Honeybees swarming around galls on oak trees
September 28, 2015 - A large number of honeybees have descended on a live oak tree in my backyard. They appear to be feeding on the numerous galls on the tree as if they were flowers. What's going on?
view the full question and answer

Selection of trees for new home
June 30, 2008 - We are moving to Roanoke, Texas(Denton County) into a new home. Our home will have 3 trees which we can choose. They are Texas Ash, Live Oak, Sweetgum, Silver Leak maple, Cedar Elm and Bradford Pear...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.