Living Snow Fence- Protection That Keeps Growing In Value

An interesting sight to see while driving through our beautiful state of Wyoming is something called a Living Snow Fence. A snow fence, or windbreak, is a landscape structure designed to manipulate drifting snow by guiding it to accumulate in a more desired location. Therefore, minimizing snow deposits on roadways or other locations that would otherwise require the snow to be removed. A living snow fence serves the same purpose, strategically placed plantings of trees, shrubs, and even native grasses minimize the effect of blowing and drifting snow for certain locations. Snow fences, whether constructed or living, are primarily used along driveways, roadways, and railways; however, they have also been utilized on rooftops and on mountain passes to reduce avalanche hazards.


Here at TLC, we are huge advocates of properly designed snow fencing, especially living snow fences, because it makes snow shoveling that much easier!!! Typical constructed snow fences are made of wood, plastic, or metal materials which can be a real eye-sore to the surrounding landscape. Why set up an unsightly and unnatural structure when a living snow fence can bring natural beauty and value to your landscape.

Benefits of Planting a Living Snow Fence

  • Low cost of installation
  • Sustainable for the environment, sequesters carbon
  • Provides food and cover for wildlife
  • Helps reduce spring flooding
  • Reduces soil erosion and removal costs
  • Reduces roadway/driveway maintenance costs (less snow plowing and shoveling, salt and sand)
  • Longer life span compared to a constructed snow fence
  • Low maintenance once planted
  • Adds value to the property
  • Aesthetically pleasing over a constructed snow fence

Let’s Get Technical: How Snow Fences Work

Snow fences work by decreasing the wind speed, on the downwind side and near upwind side, less than that on the far windward side. This manipulation causes blown snow to settle to the ground, mainly downwind from the fence. Snow flying on high winds past a snow fence will get caught in the turbulent eddies created by the fence. As the air slows, it will drop some of the snow just beyond. Eventually a large pile of snow can accumulate downwind of a snow fence. Thus, snow fences actually cause snow drifts, rather than preventing them. The fences are strategically placed to cause a snow drift where the snow will cause less of an issue, keeping drifts away from undesirable areas such as roadways and reducing costs associated with such snow removal.
living snow fence diagram

Save Your Money and Your Back

Next time you think about setting up a snow fence or wind break at your home or business, remember the benefits a living snow fence can provide, not just for your wallet but for surrounding wildlife and the environment! Give TLC a ring, we can get your living snow fence project started before the big snow hits!!!
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