Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



After the site assessment and design phases, it is important to properly prepare the site before planting a living snow fence. Investing adequate time and resources in thorough site preparation will improve growth rates and long-term survival. Site preparation will minimize the time it takes for a living snow fence to become effective, and maximize the return on investment. The practices listed in this fact sheet are considered best management practices that can be applied to all types of living snow fences. This includes all species of evergreen trees and woody shrubs recommended for living snow fences. The site preparation tasks summarized here can be followed in the order they appear to achieve sufficient site preparation and improve the health and vigor of living snow fences. Roadside environmental conditions can be stressful to plants in a number of ways. Site preparation improves site conditions as much as possible to give living snow fences an advantage over competing species in stressful roadside conditions.


Fact Sheet prepared for New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)

Additional Resources:

Gullickson, D, Josiah, S.J., Flynn, P., 1999. Catching snow with living snow fences. University of Minnesota.

Tabler, R.D. 2003. Controlling blowing and drifting snow with living snow fences and road design. Tabler and Associates. Niwot, CO.