Trees are an essential part of a coastal garden wind break but we have to choose the right species and cultivars. The environmental stresses that a tree has to cope with are greater than shrubs and lower plants, simply through mechanical wind loading. Most trees that do grow on the coast will be smaller than the same species growing inland and may be wind-pruned as they grow into their situation. Because these stresses are so great, it is best to only plant smaller specimens, as these will establish and grow away much faster. A larger planted tree is in danger of being blown over or even snapping.
Holm oak, Arbutus and Eucalyptus are all good evergreen trees that will grow on the coast. Holm oak, in particular, is naturalised in the South and South-West UK, while Arbutus (strawberry tree) is naturalised in parts of Southern Ireland.
Trees for us are a longer-term project but we have started with a small range of Eucalypts and Willows as multi-stemmed/coppice trees and will add more as we progress.