Shade Trees on the Farm

Trees are for shade over the summer. It's interesting but stock that get a little shade in the heat of the day seem to be so much more settled, I think that even the grass under a single large shade tree seem to be even slightly greener and lusher. Might have something to do with not having the sun beating down evaporating every last bit of moisture from the ground.

Now deciduous trees are the best as obviously they lose their leaves through the winter and let the light through and beneath the tree. If the trees are along a cattle race or drive way the other advantage of this is that the track or road beneath will also be drier due to the light and the wintry sun warmth... if it’s not raining like the last couple of years.

I think that the best trees are of the slower growing varieties as they usually have a much longer life span and they will tend to be reasonably spreading, though in the case of driveway trees you may prefer the form of an upright tree.

Trees for paddocks need to be of the more wind tolerant kind. Often looking around your area, or similar positions, will give good clues as to which trees will do well. If stock are to be around these trees then perhaps a quick call to your local vet as to their suitability in regards to foliage and any flowers and fruits that may fall.  I have to say that fencing them off from stock would have to be a given but will say it anyway.

I get driven around a lot, so I get to look at the scenery as we go, and I love the farms and driveways that have obviously had some thought given to the trees of choice. Often, they are the same tree and this uniform look gives a very landscaped feel to the whole vision. The tree spacing have also been well thought out and without stopping and spacing them out, they could be some 20 to 30 metres apart allowing the tree to grow to a mature shape and size and without over shading the grass beneath.

Driveway trees can be the same but could be planted from 12 metres apart. It’s just that we usually want to see something in our time frame so maybe the plan could be to alternate with a faster growing tree with a view to cutting them out in a 10 to 15-year time frame leaving the slower ones to become the final specimens.

trees that are often used for paddock trees include planes, elms, tilias, liriodendrons, fagus, acers of the pseudoplatanus or rubrum types.

I have a plan to plant our new raceway with some specimen trees and perhaps along some of the fence lines of our block. I want to do it in the uniform way that I have described and not too close so that I can see the trees mature as specimens. 

Climate change suggests that NZ will haver longer, hotter summers and we need to ensure our four-legged friends on the farm have some protection from heat stress and contributes to their wellbeing. Shade trees also can contribute to reducing nuisance weed growth, and an add interest to the landscape.   
Trees on the farm need to be hardy, as they often stand alone in exposed wind conditions. 

When planning things to consider
 - the established tree sizes
 - location for example along a fence line, race or in the field and
 - the benefits / harm to animals on the farm 

Special Note - We suggest you always seek advise from your vet before planting where stock have access to trees, as some plants available can be harmful to livestock and farm animals if eaten. 

Some ideas for you … 

Aesculus Carnea Horse Chestnut
Cedrus Cedar
EucalyptusEucalyptus Gum 
Liriodendron Tulip tree
Populus Poplar  
Quercus Oak
Salix Willow 
Ulmus Elm
Tilia Linden Tree Lime (not citrus variety)

Fruit and Nut Trees 
Castanea Chestnuts 
Persea Avocado Avocado

Podocarpus  Totara
Dacrycarpus Dacrydioides Kahikatea
Dacrydium Cupressinum Rimu 
Pittosporum Karo, Kohuhu


Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email:     Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm