Agricultural Extension Service, South Dakota State College
Tree plantings will make· your farm home and its surroundings a more pleasant and comfortable place to live. Tests have shown that a good shelterbelt can cut your fuel bill 32%. Snowdrifts can be kept out of your farm yard and driveways by planting trees in the right places. Livestock make better gains on less feed when protected from cold winter winds. Your garden and orchard will be much more successful protected from wind. Shelterbelts slow down the speed of the wind for a distance of about 20 times the height of the shelterbelt. In other words, a shelterbelt 30 feet high, will cut down wind speed for a distance of 600 feet from the shelter belt. By reducing wind speed, you can prevent or reduce soil blowing. Damage to crops-such as blowing of seeds or seedlings out of the ground, cutting off seedlings, or blowing down mature crops-often can be prevented by shelterbelts. Slowing down wind speed modifies temperatures and reduces evaporation. This provides more favorable conditions for plant growth. Snow piles up to greater depths on fields protected by shelterbelts·. This added moisture is one of the reasons why crop yields are usually higher in fields protected by shelterbelts. Wood products such as posts, poles, and fuelwood can be made out of trees thinned from your shelterbelt a few years after planting. Fruit-bearing shrubs such as wild plumb, chokecherry, and Nanking cherry planted in the shelterbelt will provide a good supply of fruit for home use. Shelterbelts containing fruit bearing trees and shrubs furnish food and cover for wildlife.
Ferrell, E.K., "Shelterbelts for South Dakota" (1953). SDSU Extension Circulars. 570.