Best Windbreak Trees in 2020

Asked January 23, 2020, 11:23 AM EST

We'd like to plant a windbreak for a rural property, due north of Fort Collins about 15 miles. I've read a lot of publications online and have a pretty good idea for spacing and location. Many of the publications suggest different species to use, however it seems a lot of the information may be out of date with respect to diseases and insects that are prevalent in 2020. For example, many recommend using Austrian Pine or Blue Spruce, but are these still wise considering the Zimmerman Moth, Mountain Pine Beetle, Ips beetle, etc? I'm considering a 3-row windbreak, starting with Rocky Mt. Juniper, then Eastern Red Cedar and finally I'd like a taller conifer tree but I'm not sure what to use here. Any suggestions would be much appreciated, I'm considering trees like Norway Spruce, White Spruce, Concolor Fir, Doug Fir, White Pine etc.

Larimer County Colorado

2 Responses

Hi Marc,

I contacted Mike Hughes, Forester with the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and the following is his reply:

“As for evergreens to plant in a windbreak on the front range, I would suggest Austrian or Ponderosa Pine as well as Colorado Blue Spruce. Scotch pine is also a possibility. Rocky Mountain Juniper is an excellent choice. I would NOT plant Norway Spruce, White Spruce, Concolor Fir, Douglas Fir, or White Pine. None of them would do well in our climate and in our soils.

Zimmerman Moth and bark beetles will always be around, but none are at an epidemic stage and pose no significant problem.”

You may also want to consider purchasing seeding trees from the CSFS Seedling Tree Nursery, 3843 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins:

Additional publications and resources can be found on the CSFS website:

Best of luck!

Thanks for searching up the great advice! Based on availability at CSFS, I'll be getting some Ponderosa's.