Hi, I know absolutely nothing about trees/gardening so I'm posting here for some basic advice.
I have land in which I keep horses. One side of it is bordered by huge oak trees which I assume have probably been there for well over a hundred years to have grown so tall.
I want to plant a few more trees on one or two of the other borders to provide extra shelter for the horses during rain/bad weather.
I am only interested in evergreen varieties of large trees.
I may plant a couple of oak trees also, aware that they will not be very tall during my lifetime.
I know there are varieties of oak trees which are evergreen, in fact mine never lose all of their leaves - just thin out, but will evergreen oak trees thrive in an Irish climate? I imagine these will take a long, long time to grow, so I need another type of tree to grow alongside the oak also.
I particularly love huge, thick-barked trees like oak, sycamore and birch.
I hate fir trees so I'm straight away ruling these out. I also hate leylandii, they seem to take over everything. I don't want to lose half of my field because the trees are taking over!
I want something that will grow quickly (or that I can buy cheaply when it's been already partially grown) and provide some form of shelter as soon as possible for my horses, even if it's only to break the wind a little. Not willing to spend too much.
Not looking for a hedge, don't want anything that needs maintenance - this is for a field, not a garden. I want something that is appealing to the eye.
So are there any big trees that grow quickly and are evergreen or am I asking for too much?
Any advice at all would be much appreciated. I'm planning to go look in a garden centre (that has a huge range of trees) this evening so advice would come in useful for that. I'll speak to someone there also for further info.
Edit to add: I am not near the sea, I'm well inland, the field is relatively well sheltered already as the land is not too high up, and the soil is of very high quality.