Check for nesting birds and wildlife before hedge trimming.
London Tree Surgeons offer a full hedge trimming and planting service including hedgerow restoration and Devon hedging.
Planting a Hedge
A mild weekend in February is an ideal time to plant a hedge. Popular varieties that are best planted in February include:
Alder, Beech, Blackthorn, Box, Buckthorn, Flowering Current, Forsythia, Hawthorn, Hazel, Hebe, Hornbeam, Lavender, Lonicera, Maple, Mixed Native, Photinia, Potentilla, Privet, Pyracantha, Quickthorn, Wild Rose, Snowberry, Spiraea, Weigela.
The exceptions are container grown Cypress, Leylandii, Thuja and Yew, plus broad-leaved evergreen hedges, made from plants such as bare-rooted Holly, Elaeagnus, Berberis, Euonymus, Laurel and Viburnum Tinus – leave these until April, when the soil and the air are a bit warmer, and there is enough moisture about to keep the leaves from drying out before the roots have become fully established.
Hedges can vary in height from dwarf lavender and box hedges of 30 cm (1 ft), to those of yew or hornbeam, that can be grown as high as required. Whatever plants you choose, make sure they are sturdy specimens, with good growth at the base, rather than taller, spindly ones.
Carefully prepare the site a week or two before planting. Clear the ground of perennial weeds and dig over the strip where the hedge is to go, to at least half as wide again as the planting width, and dig in plenty of well-rotted compost or manure. Let the ground settle, then just before planting, sprinkle on a good general fertilizer and fork it into the soil.
Soak bare-rooted plants for at least an hour, and prune off any roots that are broken or damaged. Water container grown plants very thoroughly but don’t disturb the root ball, except to gently tease out any roots growing in a spiral at the bottom.
Position a stake in at each end of the strip and run a garden line between to ensure the hedge is planted straight. Use a length of wood or cane cut to the required distance between plants to use as a rule for spacing. Dig a hole at the first position and plant at the correct depth, spreading the roots well out if it is bare rooted. The soil level when firmed should match the soil level mark on the stem. Space out the second and following plants at the correct distance. Firm each plant in with your feet before planting the next. Water copiously, and keep the plants watered if the ground is at all dry over the next few weeks until the plants are established.