Shelterbelt or windbreak plantings form a part of an environmentally sound method to reduce homeowner waste and expense for heating and cooling. Such plantings may be especially valuable in central parts of the state where open ground has little protection from hills or trees, or along the lakeshore, where high winds come off the water.
Larger trees reduce wind most effectively up to a distance of five to seven times their height, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The Michigan State University Extension notes that plants installed along your home's foundation act as a layer of insulation between the wind and your home.
Landscaping to resist the wind may extend all the way down to ground level. Ground cover fights erosion, helping keep valuable topsoil in place. Ground cover habits vary from low-growing evergreens to shrubs. Canadian ginger and the evergreen kinnikinnick are examples of good ground covers for Michigan.
Bearberry and black chokeberry shrubs, as well as black gum, Eastern sycamore and tulip trees are all native to Michigan and on the list of fire-resistant plants. Red, white and burr oak trees perform well in a range of planting zones across the state and are seldom bothered by deer. These can help form a layered windbreak to reduce heating costs for homeowners.