Effective Noise Reduction Using Landscaping Trees

The perfect landscaping trees can add value and beauty to your property. They may be used as an environmentally-friendly method to establish boundaries surrounding your property by taking the place of a wooden privacy fence, and the overall environmental benefits that come from planting trees are well-documented. But there is another benefit of landscaping trees to consider. After all the investment and effort put into designing the perfect, relaxing landscape, shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it in relative peace? The very same trees you select to design your sanctuary may also be used to effectively reduce noise pollution by creating a buffer.

It is important to place the buffer as close to the source of the noise as possible. Depending upon the size of the property, tree buffers, and some additional landscaping considerations, can greatly diminish noise. For instance, traffic noise from roads which allow moderate speeds of under 40 miles per hour (mph) can be reduced when a 20 to 50 foot wide buffer is placed within 20 to 50 feet of the center of the traffic lane nearest the property. Traffic noise from roads which allow high speeds of greater than or equal to 40 miles per hour (mph) can be reduced when a 65 to 100 foot wide buffer is placed within 50 to 80 feet of the center of the traffic lane nearest the property.

By using these dimensions as a guideline, appropriate placement, or setback, for effective results is possible while still taking into consideration those factors for which you may have no control. For instance, safety of drivers is important. By placing the buffer within these dimensions, there remains a margin for error. Should a driver’s vehicle veer from the road, the trees included as a part of the buffer are not so close to the road that immediate impact is a problem. Additionally, the trees you choose to include in the buffer should include species able to tolerate weather conditions and actions taken as a result of them. For instance, should snow or ice impact the area, the trees need to be able to tolerate any clearing or de-icing actions the local municipality may take to make the roads safe and improve driving conditions. The effectiveness of the buffer is further amplified if additional setback exists between the house and the edge of the buffer facing the house.

Other considerations to make when establishing a buffer include using evergreens. Because they retain their greenery year-round, there is never a time throughout the year when their effectiveness is lessened. Consider placing them closest to the source of the noise. A buffer should also be created as densely as possible to increase both effective noise reduction and longevity. Although the purpose is to have a dense area of vegetation to drown out unwanted noise, there still may be times that it requires pruning, especially on the side of the buffer nearer the home. An specialist can assist you with this task, keeping your buffer both sightly and effective. Finally, natural features of the landscape may assist with the buffer. Don’t underestimate the value of a natural roll in the land, such as a gradient or even a small hillside.

If, at any point, sources of noise are diminished or even removed (for example, a road formerly near the property is permanently closed or relocated) and you wish to thin the barrier you’ve created, consult an specialist, who can assist with the appropriate methods and equipment necessary for removing trees and other vegetation.

Leave a Reply