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We moved into a newly built house and I had a large clearing done. I was short sighted and had the loggers clear too much. Now we have a big very windy yard. I am going to plant trees and put of feces and over time try to build more of a fortress for wind around the house because now the house has no trees around it and big wind. So right now I want to put up a 6 ft fence, 48 feet wide, on a north facing hill that sits above our house. It is right behind the house and wide open from the north and the wind when it is from the north or northwest just rips right down. I don't know much about physics and this type of thing. But I read on one website that a fence with gaps will be better for wind blocking than a solid fence. I guess it defuses it or something? But if we are trying to block wind from our back yard, is it better o do a solid fence or one with gaps? We will plant some small trees in front of the fence. And over time we will plant an evergreen hedge ( maybe spruce trees) to make more of a wind blocking thing behind the fence. I am most concerned with putting the right fence in for the purpose of wind blocking. And also I am wondering if a fence wood can handle a lot of wind on I until the evergreen hedge matures in a few years. thanks

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    I don't think a 6ft fence will do much to block the wind.. unless your yard is only like 10ft x 8ft. People usually only install fences to keep animals out or in, and for some added privacy. If the only reason you want a fence is to block wind, I wouldn't advise it. – user24242 Oct 27 '14 at 4:05
  • Evergreens are great at blocking the wind. And most yards only need like 10-20 full grown ones to act like a fence and block the wind. – user24242 Oct 27 '14 at 4:08
  • Thanks for the answer. Our yard is pretty extreme- it is huge ad while there are lots of woods on the outside of it the yard itself ( 3 acre +/-) is without trees in the clearing at all. I want to plant evergeens but I know they will take a while to get big enough to block wind. Why won't a 6ft fence help. at least in the area just in front of it? Because the wind will just go over it? We want to get something up before this winter do thought a fence would help? – wind blocking Oct 27 '14 at 4:22
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    The fence will just be a speed dump to the wind. Sure it will slow it down next to the fence but once you get any distance from the fence it will just pick right back up. The only thing I can image the fence would be good at is making a snow drift in the winter for you (which is better than your house) – diceless Oct 27 '14 at 4:28
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    We need a lot more detail to be able to answer this with any specificity. A drawing, for starters, would help a lot. As stated, when we're talking 'big space' a 6' fence is likely going to give you very little ROI in terms of blocking the wind. Not to mention the fact that if it's really windy, the fence may not even last very long. – DA01 Oct 27 '14 at 6:32
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As a rule of thumb, tall objects can cast a wind shadow about three to six times their height which diminishes with distance. However, turbulence dominates close to the ground so don't plan on getting 18' of wind shadow from a fence.

In addition, clearing the land means that the wind will have additional velocity...blowing across 600' of open space actually moves the wind exposure class of a structure from B to C under ASCE-7.

The long and the short is that if you sit next to the fence you can probably create a localized effect, but you cannot use a fence to significantly alter the wind effect across an entire three acre site.

  • Thanks for the answer. We are not trying to use this fence for the hwole 3 acre clearing, just for a section of the yard. It is for a small hill just behind part of the house- so it would block off some of the yard. I hae decided to probably plant a farther back row or two of hybrid willows ( fast growing wind breaking trees) and in front of that some spruce to make a wind break--- but I am still not sure aobut the fence. If we put a fence I thin it would be better to have gaps in it- but still confused what that part of the yard would be with a solid fence next to it in terms of wind. – wind blocking Oct 28 '14 at 0:22
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    Other than aesthetics it doesn't matter in a meaningfully. If one performs 10% better that means the zone in which there is a measurable effect extends two feet further. The magnitude of the input dwarfs any difference. – ben rudgers Oct 28 '14 at 2:02

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