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Is planting a laurel hedge bad for Irish Environment


 
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loughlin20
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject: Is planting a laurel hedge bad for Irish Environment Reply with quote

Hi,
My family recently planted a laurel hedge for its hardiness, screening and growth rate benefits. I am however aware of its invasive impacts in irish woodlands and its lack of homing and preserving native irish insects. It is because of this I am wondering if it should have been planted as we do not wish to contribute to its invasiveness and encourage loss of biodiversity.

Also what are the best native irish heges for hedging whilst complimenting and enhancing irish wildlife/insect life

Hope ye can help.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see anything wrong with planting a laurel hedge.

In your garden, it's not going to be invasive. I know for a fact that blackbirds and sparrows like to nest in laurel.

I can't see how it could possibly contribute to loss of diversity. Beech trees are not considered native but Ash is. Beech is a beautiful tree that is home to lots of wildlife and, in my opinion, Ash is an invasive weed that should be dug up at every opportunity. So who's right and who's wrong?

I like Sally hedges but they're a lot of work initially as they have to be layered for a good few years at first. They're decid
uous of course so you won't get the privacy that a laurel hedge will give you in the winter.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's not necessarily going to be very *good* for the environment, anyway.

there is not necessarily a single species which is going to be good for the environment; i suspect a mixed native hedge is of more value than the sum of its parts.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coincidentally, i just started 'weeds' by richard mabey this morning, and he mentions in it that his two least favourite weeds are cherry laurel and oilseed rape.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Is planting a laurel hedge bad for Irish Environment Reply with quote

Quote:
Hi,
My family recently planted a laurel hedge for its hardiness, screening and growth rate benefits. I am however aware of its invasive impacts in irish woodlands and its lack of homing and preserving native irish insects. It is because of this I am wondering if it should have been planted as we do not wish to contribute to its invasiveness and encourage loss of biodiversity.

Also what are the best native irish heges for hedging whilst complimenting and enhancing irish wildlife/insect life

Hope ye can help.


To be honest I would have selected plants from the following tree and shrub list............ List of trees and Shrubs Native to Ireland.
For homing/preserving native irish insects and increasing biodiversity it is still not too late to inter-plant your laurel with any and all of the following.........
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Blackthorn/Sloe (Prunus spinosa)
Holly (Ilex aquifolium).
Dog Rose (Rosa canina),
Thorns allow small birds to hide safely from predators.

Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)
The native willows, Goat Willow (Salix caprea), Grey Willow (Salix atrocinerea), Bay Willow (Salix pentandra) and Eared Willow (Salix aurita)
Common Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
European Spindle (Euonymus europaeus),
Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus),
Elder / Elderberry (Sambucus nigra).

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject: laurel hedges and biodiversity Reply with quote

Loughlin20
I totally support you in planting a laurel hedge and living with it, if that is what you want and it does not wind up neighbours (think leylandii for a mo) I would be at one with KindredSpirit here. However if your conscience is bothering you James has given you a great solution. Intersperse the laurel with shrubs form the native list. I can visualise a magnificent hedge if the laurel was interspersed with hawthorn. Both are eminently clippable as they grow and I've a feeling you could even layer the mix although I must admit I have never actually layered laurel. Do what is best for yourself. It's far better than leaving the garden untended.

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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: weeds glo-rious weeds, lau-rel and Oil-seed Reply with quote

Greetings Kneivel! We made it through the winter then.

I wonder does this Richard Mabey you are currently reading know that within say three miles of my house here in Essex there's a total of over 2000 acres of weeds sorry oilseed rape this year and every year. the actual sites move around using a system of weed rotation. Weed rotation works much like crop rotation except that you can't use cherry laurel.

My Portuguese Laurel standard outside the front door is wondering what all the fuss is about, but he's from Madeira so he wouldn't understand.

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loughlin20
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: cheers Reply with quote

Cheers for the feedback everyone. I think I will definitely take your advice James and interplant with natives.

One question that still stands however; Is laurel that is bought from your local garden centre invasive? It just annoys me so much when I read newspaper articles and see gardening advise that promotes the use of non-native planting. Even if the plants are non-invasive it is so important to foster out native plants and in turn biodiversity.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: weeds glo-rious weeds, lau-rel and Oil-seed Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:
I wonder does this Richard Mabey you are currently reading know that within say three miles of my house here in Essex there's a total of over 2000 acres of weeds sorry oilseed rape

i expect he does - he's a great read, i have a few of his books; beechcombings and nature cure are excellent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Mabey
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