How Green Landscaping Works

Controlling Snow with Landscaping

While many green landscaping methods seemingly focus on the elements in the air and sky, like wind and sunlight, eco-minded landscapers haven't neglected the ground either. In addition to better utilizing rainwater, runoff and snowmelt, controlling drifting snow is yet another way to conserve energy with your lawn. In addition to saving you money on your heating costs during the winter, growing natural snow fences can also prevent snow drifts from accumulating on roads and driveways, provide better drainage when the snow melts and reducing soil erosion [source: Josiah & Majeski].

When designing natural snow fences, using denser coniferous trees is recommended as­ they will best block snow from drifting. Besides density, another important aspect of natural snow fences is the height of the trees. As snow accumulates on one side of the fence, smaller trees may fail to prevent snow from the top of the mound from traveling over their peak. Larger trees, even if slightly less dense, are better suited to hold off snow drifts for the duration of the winter.

Finally, you will want to gauge how wide you need your snow fence to be based on the amount of area you are aiming to protect, as well as the estimated amount of snowfall typically received in your region. Similarly, you'll want to plan the distance between your natural snow fence and the area you're protecting based on how formidable your fence is. It's always a good idea to give a bit of distance between the protected area and the snow fence, as some snow will inevitably push through and create a smaller drift on the other side.

To read about how you can harness solar power for landscape lighting, click to the next page.