Spacing recommendations

Spacing recommendations between trees and shrubs, as well as between shelterbelt rows, varies according to the planting type.

It takes longer for trees to form an effective wind barrier at wider spacing. This can be overcome by staggering the trees in adjacent rows. The delay in effectiveness will be more than offset by the increased growth and vigour of the trees that have adequate space to grow. Well spaced trees live longer, retain their lower limbs better and produce more foliage.

Spacing recommendations between shelterbelt rows

Spacing between rows Minimum distance
Between adjacent deciduous rows 5.0 metres (16 feet)
Between adjacent deciduous and coniferous rows 6.0 metres (20 feet)
Between adjacent coniferous rows 5.0 metres (16 feet)

Spacing recommendations between trees and shrubs

Species Mature Height
metre (feet)
Life Span [1] Moisture Require-
ments [2]
Growth Rate [3] Salt Tolerance [4] Potential Spread by Seed or Suckers [5] Planting Distance
metre (feet) [6]
# Trees per kilometre (per mile)
Shrubs
Caragana 5 (16) L L M M H 0.3 (1) 3333 (5280)
Choke Cherry 7 (23) M M M L-M M 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Hawthorn 4 (13) M L M L M 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Hedge Rose 2 (6.5) M L - M F L - M Medium-High 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Red Elder 3 (10) M H F L M 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Red-osier Dogwood 2.5 (8) M Medium-High M L - M M 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Sea Buckthorn 5 (16) M L M H H 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Silver Buffaloberry 4.5 (15) M L M H H 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Snowberry 1.5 (5) M L M M H 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Villosa Lilac 4 (13) L M M M M 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Deciduous Trees
Bur Oak 20 (65) L L S - M L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Cottonwood 20 (65) L H F L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Green Ash 15 (50) L M M M L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Hybrid Poplar 25 (80) M H VF L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Manitoba Maple 14 (45) M M M M M 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Pincherry 7.5 (25) M M F L M 1 (3) 1000 (1760)
Siberian Crabapple 6 (20) M M M L - M L 2 (6.5) 500 (812)
Trembling Aspen 15 (50) M Medium-High M L H 2 (6.5) 500 (812)
Willow, Acute 15 (50) M H F L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Willow, Peachleaf 10 (35) M L - M F L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Willow, Silverleaf 15 (50) M H F L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Coniferous Trees
Scots Pine 18 (60) L M M L L 3.5 (12) 285 (440)
Siberian Larch 18 (60) L H M L L 2.5 (8) 400 (660)
Spruce, Colorado 18 (60) L M S - M L - M L 3.5 (12) 285 (440)
Spruce, White 18 (60) L H S L L 3.5 (12) 285 (440)
[1] Life Span: S = Short (30 years), M = Medium (30 to 50 years), L = Long (>50 years) Moisture Needs: L = Low (<300 mm/year), M = Medium (300 to 400 millimetres/year), H = High (>400 mm/year)
[2] Moisture Requirements: Low = <300 millimetres, Medium = 300-400 millimetres, High = >400 millimetres.
[3] Growth Rate: S = Slow (<0.25 metres/year), M = Moderate (0.25 to 0.5 metres/year), F = Fast (0.5 to 1.0 metre/year), VF = Very Fast (>1.0 metre/year)
[4] Salt Tolerance, L = Low, M = Medium, H = High
[5] Potential Spread by Seed or Suckers: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High
[6] Recommended minimum planting distance for farmyard shelterbelts
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