Trees Against the Wind: The Birth of Prairie Shelterbelts

by William R. Schroeder (2023)
Foreword by Trevor Herriot
With Nature Saskatchewan’s newest publication, Trees Against the Wind, author William R.
Schroeder provides an engaging response to what started as a personal curiosity. Beginning work at the PFRA Tree Nursery in 1981, Schroeder discovered the genetic material he was working with had been brought to the Canadian prairies almost a century earlier as part of a government tree planting initiative. In spite of the significant challenges involved in growing trees in a dry land, the results had been dramatic. Eighty years on, the program was flourishing and open prairie had effectively been transformed into a tapestry of treed farmyards and planted shelterbelts.

Schroeder scoured archives in Indian Head, Regina and Ottawa to learn more about the people whose foresight and conviction had made this success possible. With the help of over 130 archival photos and maps, Trees Against the Wind tells the story of the program’s origins, its first superintendent, Norman M. Ross, the dedicated staff and the thousands of innovative prairie farmers who planted trees to shelter their homes and land. This 288-page book provides thought-provoking perspectives on prairie history and a heightened appreciation for the trees in your life, especially those that still grace farmyards and fields, providing valuable biodiversity and habitat.
Trees Against the Wind: The Birth of Prairie Shelterbelts is now available from Nature
Saskatchewan’s online store and from select retailers for $29.95 + GST.
For a sneak peek, check out these Trees Against the Wind sample pages:
Trees Against the Wind sample page (1)
Trees Against the Wind sample page (2)

ISBN 9780921104377 (softcover)

You can purchase Trees Against the Wind: the Birth of Prairie Shelterbelts from a number of retail locations across Saskatchewan in addition to directly purchasing from Nature Saskatchewan. Check back often for a current list of retailers:


  • SaskBooks



  • McNally Robinson booksellers
  • Wild Birds Unlimited

Indian Head

  • Indian Head Pharmasave


Portage la Prairie, MB

  • Jeffries Nurseries