Landscaping Tips to Reduce Traffic Noise
Heavy trucks, cars and nearby businesses can create a cacophony of intrusive noise. Because there is really no way to move your home away from this racket, using landscaping to reduce traffic noise can muffle the din to some extent. Landscaping incorporates the use of organic and inorganic elements to create a visually pleasing and functional outdoor design, but it can also create a quieter environment around your home.
Hedges have long functioned as a natural fence to keep intruders out as well as create a measure of privacy within a yard. Hedges also function to hide traffic on streets and actually muffle the sound of traffic noise. Sound-muffling hedges can be created from any kind of evergreen or flowering shrub. Pine trees are commonly used along highways to muffle the sounds of trucks and cars at high speeds.
An added benefit of hedge installation includes creating a screen to block the road. Incorporating a hedge into your landscape breaks up the straight lines of a fence. Hedges also soften the overall look of the landscape, creating an attractive l backdrop to frame your home and property. No one will know that the hedges exist to muffle loud traffic noise. Choose any number of plants including boxwoods or yew for consistent green foliage or honeysuckle or lilac for a more colorful, fragrant sound barrier.
Sound Barrier Walls
You may have seen sound barriers along a highway that passes through residential areas. Stone sound barriers muffle traffic noise quite effectively. Now before you freak out at the thought of installing a stone wall, consider this option as an integral part of your landscape design. A good blend of hardscape (stone, borders, decking and patio) mixed with plenty of softscape (plants) creates a very balanced landscape design. It's perfectly acceptable to create a stone barrier wall along one side of your property, incorporating stone colors that complement your home's exterior. Add a trickling stream or fountain to focus attention on this pleasant noise rather than the roar of cars in the background.
Fencing will provide some measure of sound reduction as long as the fence is made of more solid materials. Wood forms a very effective barrier, especially in the form of a stockade fence. Stockade fences will also totally block the sight of any cars, buses or trucks on the roads around your home. This type of fence can be accented with lattice or curved tops to create a refined look while still functioning to block noise. Lower wooden fences will also muffle sounds but will not block the unsightly view. And plantings along the fence will also add to the muffling effect of the fencing.