topography, land-use characteristics and winter climate for much of
Minnesota cause this area to be particularly vulnerable to blowing and
drifting snow on roadways. The end result of the problem often includes
a reduction in driver safety, degradation of road quality, and significant
removal costs for drifted snow.
has shown that snow fences act as windbreaks, causing blowing snow to
deposit on the landscape such that it is stored over the winter season.
When comparing the cost of snow removal with living snow fences, an
average benefit/cost ratio of 17:1 exemplifies the efficiency of this
method, validating use in Minnesota.
a blowing snow problem can be solved, several climatological factors
in the area of interest must be investigated. For this study, snow and
wind data were analyzed using a database with the most comprehensive
temporal and spatial coverage available to date
Snow Fences at Work
snow fences are most often deployed on land used for crop production,
agricultural implications represent a chief concern for local landowners.
For the winter of 2000-01, three types of living snow fence designs
in southern Minnesota were studied (strips of standing corn, twin-row
honeysuckle, and single-row honeysuckle/red cedar). To see results from
this study, please visit the Task
3 summary report and Case
Study portion of this site.
Interested in designing your own snow fence in Minnesota?