Your Reading List

Apply Now For Shelterbelt Trees

Shrubs available Caragana Chokecherry Hawthorn Hedge Rose Red Elderberry Dogwood

Sea Buckthorn Silver Buffalo Berry Snowberry Vilosa Lilac

Deciduous trees available Bur Oak

Cottonwood Green Ash Hybrid Poplar Manitoba Maple Pin Cherry

Siberian Crabapple Trembling Aspen Acute Willow Peachleaf Willow Silverleaf Willow

Conifers available Siberian Larch Scots Pine

Colorado Spruce White Spruce

It is common when driving in rural areas on the Prairies to see wonderful shelterbelts surrounding farmsteads, providing shelter from severe winds as well as enhancing the beauty of the farmyards and contributing important wildlife habitat for animals and songbirds. It takes considerable effort and expense to establish shelterbelts, and of course, it takes time. Often the succeeding generations on the farm reap the benefits of trees planted by the present generation, but as a farm often stays in the same family for generations, that provides great motivation to establish these beautiful and valuable stands of trees.

For many years the Prairie Shelterbelt Program, operated out of the Shelterbelt Centre at Indian Head, Saskatchewan by the federal government’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has contributed to the establishment of farm shelterbelts by supplying trees to farmers at no cost. The applications for the 2011 season started on June 1. Information is available at most provincial agricultural offices, by phoning 866-766-2284, emailing [email protected] agr. gc.caor on the website http//


The Prairie Shelterbelt Program’s publication gives a lot of good information for those planning shelterbelts. There are excellent photos and descriptions of each tree and shrub as well as the following information: Height.


Recommended spacing.

Growth rate.

Lifespan (long or short lived).

Origin (some are native).

Moisture requirements (drought tolerance).

Salt tolerance.

Potential spread by seeds or suckering.

Recommended uses in the farmscape (farmyard, field, livestock, or roadside shelterbelts, wildlife planting or riparian buffer).


It is a good idea to plant a few extra trees and shrubs in rows somewhere on the farm to be used as replacements for those few that for some reason do not live. By doing this, the replacements will be the same size as the originally planted trees and shrubs. Over time, a few also can be placed here and there as specimens in the farm landscape as the plan for the landscape evolves – as a result, these placement decisions will not have to be made the moment the trees arrive from the Shelterbelt Centre but can be considered over time.


Some things to consider when planning the location of the trees and shrubs:

Determine prevailing or

troublesome winds.

Identify future development sites.

Locate utility lines. (above ground and buried).

Identify trouble spots. (low-lying areas that flood, steep slopes, areas with poor soil). Determine where snow buildup is a problem or where it is desired

Plan for access to the farmyard through the shelterbelts

About the author



Stories from our other publications