Best Trees for Windy Areas

When planting a tree in a yard, it is important to consider how wind resistant it is. A tree that is susceptible to high winds can drop limbs in a storm, which can damage your house, cars, or a neighbor’s house. Because of this, you should know what trees are wind resistant before you put one in your yard. Storms are common and can bring with them high winds. It is best to be prepared for extreme wind situations while planning what trees to use in your yard.

If you are wondering if you live in a state where it is important to prepare for high winds, World Population Review has wind statistics for each state.

Wind-Susceptible Trees

Pear trees, willows, sycamores, eucalyptuses, silver maples, and American Oaks commonly drop limbs in windy conditions. These trees have weak bark that does not support the tree well, which leaves them exposed in windy conditions. Some of these trees, like silver mapleswind causing tree damage and oaks, also grow to be very tall. This makes them take on more wind damage and lose limbs faster. If you choose to plant these trees in your yard, plant them 20 feet or more away from houses or vehicles to minimize the risk of a tree branches damaging them.

4 Trees that Withstand High Winds

While some trees do not handle wind well, there are others that can withstand some of the most powerful wind speeds. If you live in an area with high winds, it would be smart to know what trees have the best wind resistance. Four of the top wind resistant trees are:

  • Live oaks
  • Live maples
  • Crepe myrtles
  • Cypress trees

Live Oaks

A live oak tree is a large evergreen tree native to the southeastern United States. The leaves are compound, meaning they consist of two leaflets attached to a common stem. Live oaks are often used for landscaping purposes. They are known to last a long time and can withstand heavy winds.

Live Maples

A live maple tree is a wind resistant tree that has been planted in the ground and is growing. The leaves change color from green to yellow to red during the fall season. Maple trees are native to North America and grow best in moist soil. They are also known for producing sap which can be used to make maple syrup.

The Norway Maple tree has been labeled as the hardiest of all Maples. It can withstand extreme growing conditions, including periods of drought, high winds and flooding that would kill many other trees in its region.

Crepe Myrtles

Another large, wind resistant tree is the crepe myrtle/ The crepe myrtle is a deciduous shrub native to eastern North America. The leaves are alternate, compound, and pinnate. The flowers are small, white, and fragrant. Crepe myrtles are used for landscaping, hedges, and as ornamentals.

Cypress Trees

The bald cypress is a sturdy, long-lasting tree that has thick canopies. They are able to withstand both flooding, drought and even hurricanes because they have deep roots in muddy soil as well as strong water reserves even during periods when other plants would die from lack of moisture or intense heat waves without frequent rains.

These trees are all safe bets when considering wind damage. They have strong roots to keep them in place and thick bark that supports then in windy conditions, proving to be reliable during great winds and being great wind resistant trees to plant..

What are Some Wind Resistant Hedges?

Hedges are an excellent choice for protecting homes from extreme weather conditions. There are many different types of hedges out there, but some are better than others when it comes to being wind resistant. Here are some of the top choices:

  • Silverberry
  • Evergreen Western Junipers
  • Fragrant Sumac


Silverberries are often found in open fields and thickets. They grow at the edge of forests, on disturbed soil where they can tolerate low temperatures as well! This shrub is very wind resistant and can tolerate temperatures down to about -40°C.

Evergreen western junipers

The evergreen western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) is an excellent tree for windy environments. It can tolerate exposure to high winds and saltwater, which makes it perfect in areas with frequent coastal storms or at sea-level where you often experience variable weather conditions such as rain followed by strong gusts of wind and even flooding.

Fragrant Sumac

Fragrant sumac is a hedge that not only is very wind resistant, but also provides good ground level wind protection for those who plant it. It also provides fall foliage and fruit year round.

Trees to Avoid Planting

While most tree root systems will not grow wider than 20 feet, some trees roots can stretch for acres. Aspens, willows, American Elms, and silver maples all have root systems that can stretch for acres. It is best to not have these in your yard because it is very difficult to control how far their roots will stretch and disrupt the foundation of your home.

Root Damage

While most trees’ roots are not invasive enough to cause damage to your house or pavement, some will. If trees with invasive roots are planted too close to your house, there roots can disrupt your house’s foundation which can be costly to repair. Because of this, it is important to know how root damage occurs and what trees have invasive roots.

Tree Roots Shift Soil

Believe it or not, tree roots do not typically damage a house or pavement by penetrating the foundation. Instead, tree roots shift the soil underneath and around houses and pavement, which causes them to become unstable. This happens as a result of roots drying up soil and causing it to slump. Once the soil slumps and the house or pavement is not supported properly, it will begin to crack. Because of this, you should not plant any trees within 20 feet of your house.

Can a House Withstand a Tree Falling on It?

Yes, a house can withstand a tree falling on it, depending on the size of the tree and the home. The roof of the house protects the walls from damage. However, if the tree falls onto the house, then the roof may collapse. If the tree falls into the house, then the house may be severely damaged. This makes it that much more important if you live near a wooden area to consider planting trees that are known to survive harsh weather conditions.

Frequently Asked questions

How much wind can a tree withstand?

If the wind gets fast enough, trees will break, regardless of their size or species. The wind speed at which no tree can withstand punishment for continuous periods of time is around 100 mph. Although it is possible for trees to break at lower wind speed as well.

Trees most likely to fall in wind?

There is a higher risk of failure for certain tree varieties in high winds. This includes: White spruce, Bradford pears , Bradford pears, Balsam fir, Cedar,  Willow Oaks, and Water Oaks. These types of trees live in soils that are more wet which will effect the chances the tree falls.

How do you tell if a tree is in danger of falling?

If you notice any signs of damage, such as branches breaking of, missing bark, fungus on roots, or cracks in the truck, the tree might be in danger of following.

Can 20 MPH Winds Knock Down Trees?

20 MPH winds are unlikely to know down trees, but can take down tree limbs.

Can 40 MPH Winds Know Down Trees?

40 MPH winds are unlikely to completely knock them down, but at this speed branches and limbs can be broken from trees.

How Much Wind Can a Pine Tree Withstand?

Pine trees are incredibly resilient and are capable of withstanding surprisingly strong winds. Research shows that a mature pine tree can handle gusts up to 50 mph without impact, though more powerful gusts can lead to broken branches, uprooted trunks and even trees completely blown over.

Have You Recently Dealt With Wind Damage?

After a Storm, make sure to call Jenkins Restorations to get your home – and your life – back to normal again.