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Wind, Wind Damage, Wind throw, Wind rock, Wind break, Wind Scorching, Wind Pruning

A close up image of a tree with windrock disorder caused by wind damage
The wind can affect plants directly and indirectly. Firstly, the wind itself is a powerful force, which can mechanically damage plants by knocking them over or flattening them. Gardens are most at risk if they're located in higher altitudes, near coasts or just moderately exposed. Likewise, less established plants are more prone to this kind of wind damage. Strong winds can also affect a plant indirectly by reducing air humidity; increasing speed at higher temperatures. The wind can also carry fungal spores and pollutant residues, so it's always wise to be mindful of the weather when encountering a garden plant problem. There are several disorders associated with strong winds: 1) Windthrow - when plants are uprooted by the wind; with young trees commonly affected. Trees may be at risk if they possess large crowns, are planted in shallow soil or lack stable root systems. 2) Windrock - when young trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants move back and forth in the ground, creating an area lacking soil media. Problems arise when water begins to build up around the tree base; if it freezes, this can kill the plant. Chaffing around the base can result in disease or parasites entering the plant. 3) Windbreak - any breakages caused by wind gusts. 4) Wind Scorching/ Pruning - when tree branches begin to permanently lean, even when there is no wind. This is due to the direct drying of the local area that's tilting. May interfere with foliage growth.
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Biological treatment

When Windbreak occurs, cut off the branch as near to the basal collar as possible. You may require professional help if the tree is large. You can use horticultural fleeces to prevent Wind Scorching in winter. Wrapping containers in bubble wrap can improve insulation.


Design gardens based on common weather conditions. Only plant wind-resistant plants if your garden is exposed or located on the coast or at high altitude. Incorporate climbing plants; they are much more equipt for dealing with the wind because they generally have additional support. Secure plants using bamboo sticks, wire supports or canes, sticks and string. Be careful not to tighten the string too much. Anchor greenhouses well. If using row covers, use cement blocks or sandbags to secure them during severe winds. Using raised beds with the soil not overflowing can help to preserve that precious layer of topsoil during a storm. Pruning and mulching in autumn are essential for avoiding Windrock and Wind Scorch. Following Wind Scorch, cut away the scorched foliage of evergreen trees and shrubs in spring when growth begins. Badly scorched conifers should be left.

Affected plants

A Fagus Beech tree with green leaves


Fagus spp.

A large Cedrus tree in a park


Cedrus spp.


Cedrus deodara

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