Can your landscape design help you control drifting snow?

With a little thought and planning you can grow yourself a fence that will block some of the snow that would otherwise drift into your yard. By doing so, you can minimize the accumulation of snow on places like your driveway and the outside of your home. You'll be saving yourself time and effort on digging, sweeping or snow-blowing and you may be able to cut down on heating costs if there's less snow piled about your house.

Trees such as conifers often make the best snow fences, as they have dense branches and leaves and won't allow much snow through. Nonetheless, you should choose trees high enough that snow won't blow over the top once the white stuff has piled up into large mounds. Tall but not-so-dense trees will do this job better than ones that are thick, but not tall enough. Even so, you can assume that some snow will manage to get through your defenses, so you should plan for some space between your snow fence and your protected area. A (hopefully smaller) snow drift can build up there without doing any damage.

Be sure to plan a fence that is wider than your protected area, too, so that snow that escapes around its edges will not be a problem. If you're new to the area, find out before planning your fence what the usual winter conditions are like: how much snow is there and how much does it accumulate? From what direction does the prevailing wind come? It's also worth researching native trees of the region. Natives are the plants best adapted to the conditions, so you know that they'll thrive. They usually require less maintenance than imported varieties and don't invite foreign pests either. Once you know these facts, you'll be able to design an appropriate snow fence that will protect your yard - and your house - from drifting snow.




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