Paddocks & laneways
Trees for shade
If you want to keep your cows cool, always start with
shade. Shade is the most effective way of reducing heat
load because it blocks solar radiation, so providing
shade to the herd should be your first priority.
Priorities for cooling cows
1. Use shade first
Minimise heat gain – block solar
2. Use sprinklers and fans
Maximise heat loss – encourage
Natural paddock shade
Trees can be planted in paddocks or laneways and can
reduce the radiant heat load by 50% or more.
The shade and shelter that trees in paddocks and along
laneways provide can be used strategically to manage
both heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
- Trees are the cheapest method of providing shade.
- Trees absorb CO2 and don’t require electricity to
establish or maintain.
- Trees enhance local biodiversity.
- It takes many years to establish plantings.
- It can be difficult to provide adequate shade every
day during paddock rotation.
- Trees along laneways can be a risk in severe wind
- You may need supplemental irrigation to establish
or speed up tree growth.
Keys to success
- WHEN REDESIGNING
consider orientating the long axis of paddocks
north-south to help maximise shade/shelter.
- AIM FOR 4 m2 of
- SEEK RECOMMENDATIONS
suitable tree and shrub species from an adviser,
e.g. Greening Australia, Regional NRM bodies
like local CMA, DPI or Landcare.
- STRATEGICALLY PLANT
based on natural traits, e.g. West Australian
swampy yate, can minimise grass growth
beneath its canopy through the secretion of a
- DECIDUOUS TREES
radiation to penetrate through canopies and
allow laneways to dry out quicker in the winter.
- FENCE OUTSIDE the
perimeter of the
tree root systems to protect trees from excessive
compaction and manure that may kill some
- LOCATE FEED and
20-30 metres away from trees so that cows
don’t defecate excessively in the shaded areas.
said that the best time to plant trees was 20 years ago.
next best time is now! These photos show
what can be
achieved in a short time.