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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Shrubs in Ireland ... Hedging in Ireland

Old hawthorn hedge


 
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somccabe
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Old hawthorn hedge Reply with quote

Hi there,
I have an old hawthorn hedge in my back garden. It hasn't been properly managed or trimmed in years so its a bit bare at the bottom. Its about 20 foot tall. Does anyone know how best to thicken it up? The neighbours are dropping not so subtle hints. There are a lot of birds in the area so obviously I don't want to hack it until autumn but can I trim the sides of it, ie. between the individuals trees. Will this help to produce side shoots? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sharon
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the neighbours want you to thicken it?
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to do a proper job on it, get a hedge-layer.....and you'll be supporting a traditional craft in the process. But you can't touch it now till the autumn.
(you could even go on a hedge-laying course! )
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

somccabe wrote:
but can I trim the sides of it, ie. between the individuals trees. Will this help to produce side shoots?


It will help thicken it up a bit, but nothing like a good topping will do. I wouldn't leave the side trimming for much longer if I was you.


Sive wrote:
If you want to do a proper job on it, get a hedge-layer.


Doesn't it hurt their bum producing the plants? Especially with the hawthorn.
Laughing
But, yes you are dead right Sive. This process is one of the best for rejuvenating gappy hedgerows.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cut it back next autumn or Winter, not now. Take off 3-4 feet off the height and the following year trim the sides.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:39 pm    Post subject: laying hawthorn Reply with quote

I'm a bit confused about 4' Michael? Did you not mean 14'? I agree nothing can be done til the haws are falling. Sive, you can't layer a 20' hawthorn successfully unless you're very lucky with the shape of the individual "trees". I'd chain saw every vertical over four inches thick at about 5' from the ground in the autumn clear all the debris and see about layering what's left at about fout feet. I did this kind of repair with Thames Chase Volunteers about five years ago. Since then it's been topped yearly and kept at 6' and is impenitrable and full of nests and supports all kinds of wildlife.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

take 4 feet off the height this Autumn and following Autumn take a further 4-5 feet off until you have reduced the height and rejuvenated the bushes. Cut back only when the leaves have dropped off completely.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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inishindie
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: Hedge laying Reply with quote

Hi

Here's a couple of pics of a hedge that was done last year. The branches were only half cut through.

The hedge is now really thick and healthy...



hedge laying 1.JPG
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hedge laying 1.JPG



hedge laying 2.JPG
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hedge laying 2.JPG



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somccabe
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was my first post on this site so I'm delighted with all the replies and especially the quality of the advice. I'll take it all on board and show the results after I've cut it in the autumn. Had thought of layering it but hadn't a clue where to start and having looked at it I don't think it'd work. I will definitely take a chainsaw to the verticals though and give them a good clip and I'll also take a few feet off the top. Thanks very much for all the advice. Things are clearer now! Will keep you all posted on the results.
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Sunny
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch out for those angry fairies! Evil or Very Mad
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hlai
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Sharon, There are two ways to thicken the base of an old thorn hedge, both involve cutting near to ground level. One is to coppice which is drastic but effective. Plants are cut down to ground level and the stumps re-sprouts effectively like a new hedge but with a powerful root system. Multiple regrowth can easily be 3-4' in the first year. To lay a hedge correctly the stems need to be partially cut through at ground level and then laid over. The resulting stub is trimmed to stimulate new growth from ground level thickening the base of the hedge. Taking off the top will not thicken the base of the hedge (new growth sprouts from just below the point where the cut is made) nor will it will rejuvenate the plants something which will be achieved by either coppicing or laying. More information on hedge laying and hedgerows in general can be found at www.hedgelaying.ie.
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Sunny
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

intresting link, never heard of the HLAI before.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there's a hedgelaying course in sonairte (near laytown) on fri 26th; €60, if anyone is interested.
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