Choosing a Hedge and Recommended Spacing

Many trees and shrubs can be clipped into a hedge. Smaller plants, 60-90cm, are easier and quicker to establish. Bigger plants 1m+ require more care and attention. The following varieties are the most popular hedging plants in the nursery depending on why the hedge is being grown:

Beech - Fagus sylvatica is the most popular hedging plant. It is deciduous, but maintains the golden/brown leaves over the winter giving screening and wind protection. It looks very well when maintained with an annual summer clipping. Tolerates exposure but not waterlogging. Plant at 30cm intervals.

Whitethorn - Crataegus monogyna is the best stock-proof hedge for farmers and landowners. It will tolerate damp and exposure. Plant at 25cm intervals.

Portugal Laurel - Prunus lusitanica is an excellent evergreen hedge. Slower growing than Common Laurel, it will tolerates cold and exposure. 30-60 cm planting interval depending on plant size.

Common Laurel - Prunus laurocerasus is also an excellent more vigorous evergreen hedge. It will tolerate shade and grow under mature trees. 30-60 cm planting interval depending on plant size.

Holly - Ilex aquifolium a native evergreen species makes an excellent slow growing hedge and will grow by the sea. 30-60 cm planting interval depending on plant size.

Lawson Cypress - Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is an evergreen conifer that will make an excellent total screen even in exposed places. 50-100cm planting interval depending on plant size.

Photinia - ‘red robin’ makes a beautiful evergreen hedge with attractive red foliage in the new growth. Photinia requires clipping twice a year to maintain a full hedge. 30-50 cm planting interval depending on plant size

How to plant

  1. Dig over a strip of ground 30-60cm wide by about 20cm deep.
  2. Make sure ground is completely weed and grass free. 
  3. Incorporate some compost but be very careful with farmyard manure, it must be well rotted, at least one year old or it can burn the plant roots. 
  4. Do not plant too deep, make sure the root flair is at ground level or below. 
  5. Crumble the soil as you backfill. Compress the soil around the roots but do not ‘heel in’ excessively. 
  6. Check regularly for wind rock and firm in as required.
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