Thread: sound barrier using evergreen trees

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  1. #1

    sound barrier using evergreen trees

    I am wanting to make a sound barrier using evergreen trees to block traffic noise and provide privacy. I live in Indiana. What would be the tree of choice for accomplishing this?
    When planting the trees, is it better to stagger them in 2 rows or just plant them in 1 straight line?
    One more question. How far apart should they be planted?
    Thank you in advance for your information on this subject.

  2. #2

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    You should use all types of trees when planting a sound barrier. If you planted all Austrian Pines, for example, then there is always the possibility that in 10 years an insect or disease will come through and wipe out the entire structure. Mix them up and use spruce, douglasfir, fir, pine, holly, hemlock, arborvitae, and so on. The nicest windbreaks have trees planted in rows 20' apart where the trees are 25-30 feet apart. This results in grand specimen trees and not the cramped and sickly looking trees that result when trees are planted 8 feet apart as many suggest. Also, very dense windbreaks do not allow airflow of any kind and once they get wet you can expect to see mold and fungus growing on your trees. It also helps to have them far enough apart so that you can mow around them, weed them, and remove volunteer mulberries from inside the rows.

  3. #3

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    Thank you very much for your advise! I will plant exactly as you say to do.
    One more question. Is there anything special I should do to the soil when planting the trees besides lots of watering? Fertilizer? Compost?
    Thanks once again!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    PWK took the words right out of my mouth. (or my fingers ) I learned the hard way that planting in perfect rows is a bad idea unless you're talking something small that can easily and inexpensively be replace.

    As far as the watering goes... Lots of water is not usually a good idea. In fact watering at all is sometimes not necessary. If you use native plants, you can pretty much set them and forget them. Just let mother nature take care of watering them with delicious and refreshing rain water. On the other hand, if we're talking about weeping willows and poplars, well those are thirsty trees. Mulch isn't always needed either and too much can really spoil the day. Forget about fertilizer.

  5. #5

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    Thanks for the info Taxodium. No fertilizer and not too much water.

  6. #6

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    Trees have very slow metabolisms and feeding them fertilizers can be a waste and can even burn the young roots. Trees will grow in cracks between rocks with only rainwater and trace elements as nutrition. It wouldn't hurt to purchase an inexpensive moisture meter from the local garden center, either. The proper amount of water will do wonders for your young trees. A general rule of thumb is that clay takes about ten days to dry out and sand takes about 3 days to dry out when properly mulched, but a meter will tell you exactly when to water.

  7. #7

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    I haven't seen those moisture meters that you mentioned, but it sound like one would be a good investment. I'll have to check them out the next time I'm in the gardening center.
    Thanks for the tip, pwk16

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    St. Louis zone 6

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    Another thing which goes in line with the variety suggestion, sneak in a few shade liking bushes as well. A lot of trees drop their lower branches as they get taller and the lower branches get shaded out by other branches or trees. If this happens you can walk under your privacy screen! I never recommend honeysuckle but the honeysuckle growing under the walnuts in my back yard make a good summertime screen.
    Zone 6, St. Louis, MO

  9. #9

    RE: sound barrier using evergreen trees

    That's a great idea, Toronado3800! I never considered that.

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