Trees in the form of shelterbelts and windbreaks can reduce the speed of desiccating winds that would otherwise carry away thin topsoil, or affect livestock or crops.
Trees can reduce waterlogging, and erosion caused by water and wind. A windbreak can reduce wind speed across a paddock for a distance of 10 to 20 times its tree height.
The profile and pattern of wind breaks can be so constructed as to counter the effects of winds that vary in strengh and direction through the seasons.
Shelter belts in dryland regions may conserve soil moisture and boost crop yields by up to 30 percent. Shelter belts also provide other benefits including forage and fuelwood.
Windbreaks should be situated at 90 degrees to counter the most damaging winds not necessarily the prevailing wind. 40 percent porosity in windbreaks is advisable in order to avoid damaging eddies in its lee.
Care should be taken to ensure that species used in a windbreak do not compete with generally shallower rooting crops or pasture,especially for water.