Trees exposed to gales quickly become logs or kindling.
Gardeners have a lot to consider when confronted with the elements and vagaries of various plants. This picture encouraged me to consider trees exposed to wind in the form of a light breeze (a good thing), a strong blow and devastating hurricane force (a bad thing for English Trees in 1987).
Tips for Exposed Trees
Trees can act as a wind break but if too exposed they may suffer. Think about the trade off and why you are planting a particular tree in a particular spot. (Trees are for life not just for decoration unless it is a Christmas tree).
Wind can make trees lean and so young saplings may need staking until they are well established. However the ability to sway in the breeze builds up the strength of a tree. Tie the tree low down otherwise the head can snap off in a gale.
If a tree is exposed then the growth will not be uniform and the side facing the prevailing wind will show less or shorter growth. Site your trees especially specimen trees in a wind shadow but not a rain shadow.
Too much wind damage will cause delamination of the roots & bark, cracking, rupture and buckling.
Strong winds cause trees to sway, pulling and stretching their roots and creating gaps in the soil that can stop water getting to roots.
Species vary in their response to wind. Most rhododendrons are sensitive to moderate wind and react by closing their stomates, reducing loss of water by transpiration. In contrast, trees such as larch and alder under the same wind conditions maintain open stomates and continue to photosynthesize and transpire.
Fruit tree growth increases as wind exposure decreases.
Trees can be partially supported with strong forked props.
“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”
”Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.” Winston Churchill.