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I am looking for suggestions for a tree/shrub to plant as protection for other plants. the area concerned is at the side of the house between the house wall and a six feet high fence. The wind whistles along this and I want to protect the plants already there. The passage is just under six feet wide and is half path half border so whatever is planted needs to be narrow or able to be cut back when necessary, and thorn free. I dont mind tree, shrub or climber as long as it is wind-proof. All help appreciated.
I have just planted an evergreen Euonymous in just such a situation. We live in a really windy location and have a six foot corridor between our house and next doors garage through which the wind fairly whistles.The soil is dreadful but so far so good and although the shrub bends with the wind and leans away a little it is doing well. I am reliably informed by my local nurseryman that I will be able to control its growth with clipping to keep the path clear.
You might consider a clump-forming bamboo - phyllostachys aurea are toughies and won't wander off like so many bamboos do. I use them for exactly this problem (though my corridor is only 4ft wide) and it works well. You can easily keep the base as small as you need simply by pruning out unwanted stems at the base. The only caveat I'd mention is that it will arch downwards when rained on heavily, so if its an area you need to pass through frequently you might need to keep a broom handy so you can whack it before you walk past - otherwise you'll get a major shower if you bump it! Does the job though, filtering the wind rather than trying to stop it entirely, so it doesn't snap in the wind or force it to funnel past even more strongly than before. If that doesn't appeal, a bit of narrow trellis with something tough like one of the more ornamental ivies (clotted cream is lovely) on it would also filter wind, and shouldn't blow down provided you dont let it get too thick - keep it to the shape of the trellis leaving plenty of 'windows' so the air can pass through. If you let it grow too thick, like a hedge, it'll catch the gale and blow down. Both these things are evergreen - essential, I would think, as wind tends to be more of an issue in winter.
I would not plant Bamboo - they hate wind, especially if not established, though they will tolerate more wind with time, a windy corrider will just not be optimal: you will end up with a few brown or pale leaves and lots of bald patches.
A trellis is a great idea, it will slow the wind on the other side and would be my first choice.
Seaside plants like Tamarisk make good wind filters and it tolerates the wind - can go a little yellow but recovers and has pink flowers in late spring. Others are Escallonia, Olearia, Gaultheria, Hippophae, Ilex, Kalmia and Leucothoe. Erica (Heathers) can make a low level wind break.
Thank you all for the suggestions. I had already though of a trellis to filter the wind before planting while the plant gets established. I will look up the pants and see which appeals. Thanks again