Flowering Trees and Shrubs Add Seasonal Color on the Farm

11-15-2016 in Green Farmstead Partner

Driving through the Iowa countryside it’s hard not to recognize the pleasing sights, sounds and aromas of the fall season. Brilliant bursts of fall foliage decorate the landscape, fallen leaves rustle in the autumn breeze and crisp, earthen scents fill the air.

A similar aesthetic effect can be replicated in a windbreak design. Flowering trees and shrubs can provide a splash of seasonal color and release a pleasing floral fragrance on your livestock farm, all while reducing odor and protecting your site from prevailing winds and heavy snowfall.

Flowering trees and shrubs are a valuable windbreak tool along roadways and near farm entrances. These plant species are visually appealing and allow landowners to personalize the landscape with attractive cultivars ranging from the common purple lilac to the brilliant red chokeberry.

Depending on the function of the windbreak, the buffer may include several staggered rows of evergreens, shade trees and shrubs. Shrubs are generally planted on the outward facing row in order to achieve additional density and to create a striking appearance along the backdrop of other tree greenery.

When considering row spacing, a general rule of thumb is to leave a minimum of three to six feet between plants and 10 feet between rows of shrubs that are less than 10 feet tall. For shrubs and flowering trees within the 10 to 25 feet range, space plants five to 10 feet apart within the row, and 12 feet between rows.

Ready to spruce up your farm with a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs? Check out the following species from our plant gallery. The examples provided below produce stunning foliage and fruit during the fall season.

Amur Maple – A hardy and adaptable, multi-stemmed flowering tree, the amur maple produces beautiful orange and scarlet autumn leaves.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry – The autumn brilliance serviceberry is a small, flowering tree known for its white flowers in the early spring, purple fruit and brilliant red-orange fall foliage.

Redoiser Dogwood – Known for its bright red bark and purple fall flora, the redoiser dogwood is an attractive shrub both during the fall and winter months.

Brilliant Red Chokeberry – While the brilliant red chokeberry produces white flowers in May, it also reveals fiery red foliage and berries in the fall.

By Haley Banwart, CSIF Assistant Field Specialist 

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