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

What to do about my dying Escallonia hedge - considering Ivy


 
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ger1356
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Joined: 22 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: What to do about my dying Escallonia hedge - considering Ivy Reply with quote

Hi, I stumbled across this site today and was amazed at the amount of information and advice on offer - excellent work! As a total armature, this site is just what I need.
My problem as the title suggests is to work out what I should do next. My hedge is about 9 years old and over the last 3 years it has deteriorated to the extent that there's just a woody bare hedge structure left - I gather it's a fungal problem and not likely to recover. Given that it's about 200 meters long I'm not too keen starting all over again if I can help it and was wondering whether a suggestion made by a friend was worth considering. They suggested planting Ivy alongside and that the old hedge might support the Ivy while it gets established. I have had a look around the garden and we already have what looks like hedera hibernica or hedera colchica? Does anyone think that this might work, as all I want is a green border to my garden that offers privacy and an all year around green look? Am I kidding myself - the thought of digging all those bushes out is not very appealing.
Thanks' in advance,
Ger. Smile
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Sive
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a similar situation, though on a smaller scale.....my escallonia hedge was planted around the vegetable garden to give shelter from the wind.
I really don't know if your ivy idea would work, as I assume the dead wood would eventually rot and collapse, so what would the ivy be left to climb on ?
I suspect you would be better off planting a mixed hedge in the autumn when it is so much cheaper to do it with bare-root plants. And if you're in the country, it would look very natural.
I wonder could you hire a mini digger to help with the removal of the old shrubs, and prepare and enrich the soil so that your autumn planting will get away really well. Just a thought. All these diseases that come along make me wonder whether we're better off planting mixed hedging rather than these monocultures. The losses wouldn't be so dramatic that way.
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ger1356
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 22 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your quick reply Sive, much appreciated - sorry to hear you're in the same situation, we have also had our Griselinia hedge wiped out with the frost but that wasn't too bad as we can change that easy enough. I forgot to say that yes I'm out in the country so I guess I probably could go for a more natural look. I take your point about the old hedge rotting away, but having looked at the other Ivy plant in the garden it does seem to be able to stand on its own, plus I have a wire (6" square) fence with wooden posts in the middle of the dying hedge. I was hoping that the Ivy might grow quick enough to establish itself and maybe the wire fence might help to keep it in place - I should add that there are a few small escallonia leaves developing but only on about a fifth of the hedge so chance are most of it will rot soon enough.

The main problem is that half of the hedge is bordering a neighbour who isn't inclined to do much and that a new bare root hedge would leave us very exposed for some time I guess. I have got room to plant something inside the hedge and I suppose the old hedge might act as wind break for a time but I don't know what I would plant that would eventually swallow up the old hedge and maintain our site boundary - it's a tough one.
Many thanks
Ger.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ivy can be planted near the base of the dying escallonia hedge. The hedge will support the young ivy but after a while the ivy will become strong enough to stand on its own. there are many varieties of ivy available and it will serve your purpose of shielding off the neighbouring property. Planting some native species beside the escallonia could be the long term solution and as the suggestion was made a mixed species rather than a monoculture would be preferable. It soes not have to be trained as a formal hedge merely as a line of shrubs varying heights colours and shades.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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ger1356
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 22 Apr 2011
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Location: SouthWest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Michael, that sounds like a good plan and more to the point a less back breaking plan! If I could trouble you a little more, as I said above it looks like we already have hedera hibernica or hedera colchica in the garden, are there any other Ivy varieties that we could mix in? One side faces North East and the other South East, most of what we have already faces North West and is in the shade most of the day and seems to be doing fine. Also, given that our dying hedge is about 5ft high, are there any specific planting instructions i.e. how far apart in the hedge and what size plants to buy etc, bearing in mind we had minus 13 degrees over the winter which killed off our Griselinia? I like the sound of all this as it seems we could end up with a reasonably dense hedge that will attract birds etc. I would be more than happy to bulk out the boundary with a mix of other hedges as has been suggested, but my main priority at the moment is to get some privacy and on that note, have you any idea how long it would take before the Ivy would fill up the hedge?
Apologies for all the questions but you obviously know what you're talking about and as you will have gathered - I don't.
Many thanks,
Ger. Smile
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ger1516 I can appreciate your predicament. If a hedge grows fast then it reaches its ultimate height faster and grows taller than a slow-growing type. The fact that griselinia died during last Winter is no great indicator. it would take Ivy three to four years to reach a height of 4 feet. The following should be looked Ligustrum (Privet) many types though not completely evergreen, White thorn and Blackthorn.
Viburnum tinus, Cotoneaster lacteus, Cotoneaster Salicifoliis, Olearia macrodonta, Olearia traversii, Ilex (Holly several types), Prunus laureocerasus, Laurus nobilis, Lonicera nitida. Over that length of hedge you could put 3-4 trees spaced out at intervals. Use Soebus aria, Sorbus aucuparia, Alnus cordata, Alnus glutinosa, Betula species. Hope that this is of help to you.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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