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Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra) is a workhorse of a tree. In fact, it's recommended by numerous university horticulturists as a superior windbreak tree because of its dense growth and durability against strong winds. Also called European Black Pine, this evergreen has sturdy branches that are resistant to breakage '– a functional tree that's also a beautiful landscape specimen! This Hard Worker Needs Little Maintenance Austrian Pine overwhelmingly earns its keep by offering these additional features: • Privacy. Its height, thick growth, and evergreen habit make Austrian Pine a terrific privacy screen. In fact, if you live in a covenant-restricted neighborhood that places a height limitation on constructed fencing, plant Austrian Pine. This tree provides a "green" solution for legally exceeding restricted fence heights, and it does it in a big way. Trees can reach heights of up to 60 feet! • Adaptability. Drought, heat, poor soils, and heavy soils are challenges for many landscape plants. But Austrian Pine sails through all of these environmental conditions with a resiliency that other evergreens lack. • Salt-tolerance. In a seaside environment, many plants fail because of their intolerance to salt spray. Austrian Pine is a delightfully salt-resistant solution in these regions! The Importance of Windbreaks Windbreaks are environmentally protective and energy-wise solutions in windy climates. A properly positioned windbreak can: • Reduce erosion • Protect crops • Protect livestock • Control snowdrifts And you may not have considered that windbreaks can conserve energy and reduce your home heating costs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that a strategically positioned windbreak can help you reduce your heating costs up to 25 percent! Windbreaks work by redirecting cold air over your home, which lowers the wind chill temperature. Designing Your Windbreak Austrian Pine is one of the recommended trees for designing effective windbreaks. Keep these tips in mind as you calculate the number of trees you'll need: 1. Space trees tightly '– 10 to 15 feet apart. 2. Plant a row of Austrian Pine trees perpendicular to the prevailing winds. 3. Extend the windbreak laterally beyond the area you want to protect. 4. Space the windbreak from your home at a distance of two to five times the mature height of the trees. 5. For maximum protection, plant a two-row high-density windbreak by spacing trees alternately, with a space in one row offset by a tree in the other row.