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Tag Archives: hedge planting

  • Cold and wet weather advice - planting

    Autumn to spring is the ideal planting time for most trees and shrubs as they are not actively growing and there is likely to be less stress to the plant. However, it is best to avoid planting in waterlogged or frozen ground.

     

    Wet conditions?

    If the soil is waterlogged do wait until surface water has drained away before you plant. If the soil consistently remains very wet consider improving the drainage before planting or the plants could suffer in the long term. Walking on or digging soil when waterlogged can also damage the structure - compacting it and reducing the aeration which is necessary for plant roots to thrive.

    Cold conditions?

    Generally, if there is snow on the ground or the ground is frozen for several days it is advisable not to plant. Do not remove pots or containers from the root ball during freezing conditions as the small roots can be damaged.

    Storage

    Bundles of bare-root plants can be kept in the bags they are supplied in, in a shed or garage for about a week prior to planting, if the delay is longer they are best ‘heeled’ in the soil in their bundles or in a free draining container with compost around the roots. Rootballed plants are best left out of drying, cold winds with straw or hessian over the rootballs. Container grown trees and shrubs are fine in the containers they come in until planting conditions are suitable – just secure them safely where they won’t blow over.

    see our blog on Bare root plants for hedges for more information on care for bare root plants during and after planting.

  • Bare root plants for Hedges

    We have listened to our customers most frequent questions about planting bare root plants for hedges and compiled our recommendations for you:

    How many will I need?

    New mixed hedges are usually planted at a spacing of 5 plants per metre (approximately 4 plants per yard). This allows for 2 rows with plants staggered – see diagram below:

    ----X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X----
    X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X------X

    Double row – typically 30cm (12”) between the rows with plants spaced at 40cm (16”) along each row.

    Will they need protection?

    Bare root hedge plants are vulnerable to rabbit and deer damage, particularly in rural areas. For protection from rabbits, spiral guards should be used with canes to support them. Alternatively, the entire hedge can be fenced off with chicken wire, with the base of the wire firmly buried in the soil. Deer fencing generally needs to be 1.8m high, see our website for planting accessories or ask for advice.

    How should I store them after purchase?

    You should be able to keep the plants in the bags they were supplied in for up to 10 days as long as they are frost free and the roots are kept moist but not sitting in water. Beyond 10 days “heel-in” the plants by digging a hole or small trench, removing the plants from the bags keeping them in their bundles, spread the roots out and cover the roots with soil, then firm gently.

    Care when planting

    At the planting site check the roots are not dry – if necessary dip them in a bucket of water (do not soak). To prevent the roots from drying out in the wind, leave the plants in the bag, taking them out only as you plant them, alternatively cover the roots with damp sacking. We highly recommend you dip plants in Mycorrhizae gel at this stage, or granules for small quantities – see our separate guide on How to use Rootgrow in our downloadable advice section. Fertilisers, such as bonemeal, can be mixed in with the soil around the plant roots and, depending on the soil type, a 50/50 soil/compost mixture can be used to avoid large air spaces around the roots.

    Care after planting

    Weeds compete for water, nutrients and light so plant into soil free from perennial weeds (including grass) and keep them weed free in the first two years. Mulch mat rolls such as woven polypropylene and bark can be used as a weed suppressant. Water during the first spring and summer if logistically possible.

    Bad Weather?

    Don’t plant into waterlogged or frozen soil - wait until conditions improve. See our blogs in Cold weather Planting and Storage for more information.

  • Cold and wet weather planting advice

    Autumn to spring is the ideal planting time for most trees and shrubs as they are not actively growing and there is likely to be less stress to the plant. However, it is best to avoid planting in waterlogged or frozen ground. It's been wet and it's getting colder so do delay planting if necessary.

    Wet conditions

    If the ground is waterlogged wait until surface water has drained away before planting, this is likely to be quicker on light soils based on chalk or sand but can be very slow on heavy soils such as clay. Plant roots need aerated soils - total waterlogging can cause fine roots to die off making it less likely for plants to establish well. In addition digging soils in very wet conditions can ruin the structure of the soil making it compacted and harder for roots to penetrate in the future.

    Cold conditions

    Generally if there is snow on the ground or the ground is frozen for several days it is advisable not to plant. Do not remove pots or containers from the root ball during freezing conditions as the small roots can be damaged.

    Storage

    Bundles of bare-root plants can be kept in the bags they are supplied in, in a shed or garage for about a week prior to planting, if the delay is longer they are best ‘heeled’ in the soil in their bundles or in a free draining container with compost around the roots. Rootballed plants are best left out of drying, cold winds with straw or hessian over the rootballs. Container grown trees and shrubs are fine in the containers they come in until planting conditions are suitable – just secure them safely where they won’t blow over.

    For further details see our previous blogs in the category Cold Weather Planting and Storage

  • Bare root and Rootballed Hedge Plants now available!

    We aim to supply great quality hedge plants! Our field grown bare-root and rootballed plants are available and it's now prime tree and hedge planting time.

    HawthornsNative hedges are valuable for wildlife as they provide nesting sites, shelter and habitat, and seeds and berries for birds and small mammals. For Rural Hedge Mixtures in quantities up to 150 plants (for approx. 30m) we offer a popular mixture of 2-3 year bare root plants 60-80cm in height pre-packed in bundles of 25 containing hawthorn, field maple, hazel, spindle and blackthorn.  We also supply larger quantities from a selection of your choice or our recommendations.

    a line of yewWe supply bushy evergreens as Rootballs - Yew and Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) - both make great evergreen screens, they can be trimmed to great effect in formal gardens as partitions, or a backdrop to herbaceous borders. Yew does require good drainage so Thuja plicata is a good alternative in heavier moister soils.

    Have a look at some of our previous blogs with advice on choice of plant, soil preparation and care of bare-root plants - happy planting!

     

     

     

  • Hedge Planting – Root Balled Plants

    If you’ve been following the blog lately, you’ll already be up-to-date on with our series on bare root plants, which are field grown and supplied in bundles over the dormant season, November to March.

    This is an economical way to plant deciduous hedging in sizes up to 2m, but this doesn’t carry over to evergreens. As they never go fully dormant, evergreens larger than 45cm are best sold with some soil around the roots. Instead, you’ll be looking at a rootballed plant, which we’ll be discussing a little more today.

    What is a rootballed plant?

    This just means they’re provided with a ball of soil around the roots, secured by a hessian covering.

    Why should I use one?

    Unlike bare root plants, the roots will be insulated, moist, and suitable to be stored for longer (up to a week in a cool, sheltered area!) They’re cheaper than container grown plants, and simple to plant in a tree pit.

    Typically they’ll be moderately mature, and trimmed down as they’ve grown. This produces a bushy appearance, and makes them quick to resemble an established hedge when planted as a group.

    I’m looking for instant hedging, which rootballed plants can I use?

    Good question!

    Yew - Taxus baccata

    yew

    The Yew’s vivid, green foliage

    This is a classic, evergreen hedge plant. It’s long lived, easily trimmed, shade tolerant, and provides a beautifully sheer backdrop to herbaceous plants. It’s long been used for topiary and formal gardens, thanks to an incredibly dense appearance. If you’ve ever explored a maze garden you’re likely familiar with Yew.

     a line of yew

    A line of Yew from around the nursery

    Yew is also quite simple to maintain, only requiring annual trimming. If it becomes overgrown it can be renovated by cutting back one side each year, permitting gradual rejuvenation. So long as it’s provided with good drainage, the plant can tolerate most soil types, even chalk.

    Western Red Cedar - Thuja plicata

    Yew can’t handle excessive moisture, making Western Red Cedar an excellent alternative in heavier, damper soils.

    wester red cedars 1


    It’s a quick-growing evergreen conifer, naturally able to quickly reach 15m as a tree, but easily trimmed into a smart boundary hedge. With deep green, glossy foliage it compares well to Yew as a backdrop to herbaceous plants, though faster growing and with better tolerance of wetter soils. It also thrives on all normally cultivated soils, and is resistant to wind.

    Western Red Cedar has a pleasant identifying characteristic - its fragrance – which resembles pineapple, distinguishing it from other conifers.

    western red cedars

    A display of Western Red Cedars

    What else should I know?

    It’s important to remember that the wire wrapping is there for a reason! Even after planting, the hessian keeps the root system secure and safe. It’ll rot away naturally in three to six months, so there’s absolutely no need to remove it yourself.

    How many will I need?

    We often receive questions about spacing, and are more than happy to oblige. Both of these plants would function fine around a metre apart, though you may wish to adjust this for plants under 1m tall, in which case they may initially appear a little spacious. Spacing of 60-75cm will allow them to grow and bush out comfortably, without taking too long to meet up.

    Rootballed plants are an excellent way to get your hedges off to an immediate and effective start, while the species above are perfect options for a satisfying, formal hedge.

    If you have any questions we haven’t covered above, don’t hesitate to get in touch, as we’re more than happy to lend a hand with any queries you might have.

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