We've recently bought a small hobby farm in the south of Adelaide. We need to plant some fast growing windbreaks along part of our fence line and would like advice on the type of evergreen tree that would achieve this, and when would be the best time to plant them.
Have a quick look at the link below. For a quick growing break I would look at establishing some Acacias (wattles) as they grow quickly but don't generally last long. At the same time establish the final species mix so when the wattles finally die the other species are off and running having used the wattles as nursury shelter plants.
To find out the best tree species to plant, have a look around your local area and identify fast growing native species. These species will be adapted to the area and being native will provide a habitat for local wildlife. Ensure any species you select grow taller rather than wider as this will increase the effectiveness of the windbreak. If you are going to use short growing species use them on the outside edges of the windbreak.
The number of rows of trees will depend on the area available, 4-5 rows is optimal however 1 row would be better than none.
Ensure that you have the site well prepared, I would start twelve months out from when you are going to plant. This will mean spraying the rows out with a herbicide to reduce plant growth, deep ripping the rows and fencing the area to keep livestock and wildlife out. Plant from June to September, prior to the hot weather.
I hope this is of assistance. We will hopefully get some south australian locals post who can recommend specific tree species.
I have communicated with our consultant who is very familar with your local area. He has suggested that some of the fast growing species like Acacia's can have a short lifespan, something for you to consider prior to species selection.
Below is a list of suitable trees and shrubs which establish quickly and are suited to your area.
Native plant species for shelterbelts
Botanical Name Common Name
Acacia melanoxylon Blackwood
Acacia myrtifolia Myrtle wattle
Acacia paradoxa Kangaroo thorn
Acacia pycnantha Golden wattle
Acacia retinodes (bill form) Wirilda
Allocasuarina muelleriana Slaty sheoak
Allocasuarina verticillata Drooping sheoak
Eucalyptus camaldulensis River red gum
Eucalyptus dalrympleana Mountain gum
Eucalyptus fasciculosa Pink gum
Eucalyptus leucoxylon SA blue gum
Eucalyptus viminalis viminalis Manna gum
Leptospermum continentale Prickly tea-tree
Leptospermum lanigerum Large fruited tea-tree
Melaleuca decussate Totem poles
Banksia marginata Silver banksia
Bursaria spinosa Sweet bursaria
Juncus pallidus Pale rush
Microlaena stipoides Weeping rice grass
Olearia ramulosa Twiggy daisy bush
Pultenaea daphnoides Large leaf bush pea
Xanthorrhoea semiplana Yacca
Acacia acinacea Round leaved wattle
Arthropodium strictum Vanilla lily
Bulbine bulbosa Bulbine lily
Carex tereticaulis Sedge
Austrodanthonia species Wallaby grass
Daviesia leptophylla Narrow leaf bitter pea
Hakea carinata Needlewood
Hakea rostrata Beaked hakea
Kennedia prostrate Running postman
Leptospermum myrsinoides Heath tea-tree
Platylobium obtusangulum Flat pea
Austrostipa species Spear grass
Themeda triandra Kangaroo grass
Source - ‘Trees for Life’
(NOT evergreen) Poplar trees are very tall and an interesting one, since Solar and Wind hybrid systems, winter is considered the time when wind would be a good idea to be successful in producing electricity and the Poplar is Northern Hemisphere and sheds its leaves, but as i said, if you may ever need a Hybrid solar wind system it would not be a great tree of choice unless you don't mid the expense of heavier diameter carrier wire and placing a wind turbine at least 60 meters further out somewhere.
EVERGREEN , "Eucalyptus nicholii - Peppermint Gum" is a pet of mine,and is fast growing gum, my family planted some on the 20 acre block and it blasted its way up to 25 meters, it is very fast and dense when it wants to be. 10 meters apart appears about right and don't ever trim lower chutes and limbs except if it is a matter of balance and safety.
Another there is "Iron Barks" but thats if they are 5 meters apart.
Thuja Giant is one of the idea choice for creating a fence. This fast growing tree is a hybrid and is a conical evergreen tree. While surfing on net I came across a site (http://www.gardeningnorthside.com.au) you can check them as well. They have some great variety of grass types that can be helpful.