Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

The effects of climate change on garden design – part 4

Wind and storm

Another perception from recent years is that the first few months have become windier in the spring. Especially in weather conditions that favor easterly winds, this leads to dehydration and partly wind damage to freshly expelled perennials and shrubs. And even if easterly winds rarely lead to snowfall, there are often cold damages in the episode, as in the east wind temperatures up to – 10 degrees are not uncommon and then enforce long-lasting wind speeds of more than 45 kilometers per hour to the native plants.

Weather events such as the spring storms Kyrill January 2007 and Friederike January 2018 seem to be piling up. The strong winds were at least in our region in 2018 and 2019 until mid-June an issue. With leafy trees and shrubs there was therefore already more windbreak. In our garden, we noticed windbreak on trees like Fagus and Cercidiphyllum. Both genera seem to be very susceptible to the partly rotating winds.

Rigid trees such as spruce, fir and pine are also in this group.

Last but not least, strong winds also cause high evaporation rates, which of course is doubly negative for growth in the absence of precipitation.


When we set the ornamental appletree avenue in 2014, we already had our free windy situation in view. The ornamental apples keep up to date very well in the wind and we hope, of course, that this remains so. At the same time we have the feeling (and also the „hope „) that the trees are “hardened” by the free position.

Incidentally, the hornbeam hedge that has grown around the property breaks the ground-level wind in many places