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

Just planted a new hedge


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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Just planted a new hedge Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I just planted a new hedge last weekend consisting of a mixed bag of plants. The base of the hedge is in equal quantities Copper Beech, Green Beech and Hawthorn, with a mix of hazel, spindle, blackthorn, rowan, oak and Alder put at regular intervals. I spaced them at 30cm apart as per my gardening centre advice. My plan is to let some of the plants grow to trees and also, once established, to plant some honeysuckle and maybe a few other flowering species entwined into it for a lovely country looking hedge.

Now I know I'm a little late getting the hedge down, I was late ordering the hedge and my garden centre then delivered 2 weeks later than they said they would! Anyway now that most of the plants are in the early stages of budding (the spindle is actually in leaf) I take it I should wait until autumn before cutting back? The plants are all varying height which I'm ok about but I read somewhere that cutting back 1/3rd of the growth on newly planted bare root saplings encourages root growth. The roots on some of the plants seemed very small so I'd be keen to help stimulate root growth in whatever way I can. Before planting I mixed a small amount of bone meal into the soil as a nice early boost for the plants. So should I cut back now or later?

thanks

Jonny
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tippben
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Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't cut them. They'll be shocked enough already. Expect to lose at least 10 - 20%, that's normal, especially planting bare roots this late. Make sure that the first root is at SOIL SURFACE LEVEL. Any deeper (ie~ 2 inches is enough), and they will suffocate. Your job this year is to keep them weed free and well watered - a thorough soak every few days when it's dry, to encourage good root development. Don't be tempted to over feed as that will force growth that the roots can't support yet.

Next winter replace any that have died, prune out any dead wood, and cut them by 1/4 to 1/3, but only if they've grown well. If they haven't, leave them another year.
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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tippben, your advice makes sense so I'll leave the pruning now til winter. Hopefully I don't have as many plants as that die on me but only time will tell.

I'm trying to be all green fingered at the moment but as my parents aren't gardeners and I haven't grown up with it the whole gardening thing is kind of overwhelming. Especially as I have so much bare featureless ground and no idea what to do with it.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have had the foresight to plant such a great mixture for what will eventually be a smashing hedge, I don't think you need worry about the rest of your plot. You will come up with loads of good ideas.
Good luck with it.
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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Guy, I thought I'd take a chance on it but I can't take credit for the idea. I was for fitting a combined green and beech hedge only and just before I went to order them I came across a forum (forget which one) where someone posted saying they had planted a mixed hedge similar to what I planted. I liked the idea so went to my garden centre and talked through with him. Most of the species in my hedge grow in abundance locally so it should tie in pretty well with the local landscape.
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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,
I've just bought 5m3 ( 5 bulk bags) of tantalised bark for 200. Is that a good price? This is to mulch around the hedge to suppres weeds. Should I put a porus liner down as well? Am I wasting my money putting bark down without a liner?

Jonny
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been my experience that bark on its own works well IF it is about 4 inches thick and is on ground from which all perennial weeds have been removed. If you use it on your hedge, be careful not to put it close around the stems of the new plants (see earlier thread on this). Mind how you manage the mulch-grass interface - it could get messy!

I went to a workshop on hedges (laying and planting) some years ago. The man giving the workshop recommended using plastic, about 18" wide, to cover the cultivated ground. He planted bare root stuff through it and mulched it with enough gravel to keep the plastic in place. He reckoned that would be enough to allow the new plants to establish over a couple of years, by which time they would shade out any competing grasses.
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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,

My hedge is coming on very well indeed. I've lost approx 1-2% so far. I'm sure the winter will take a few more out. Some of the plants that were around 4ft when planted are now over 6ft tall. I'm a little worried that because I didn't cut the new plants well back when planting due to the late planting that there has been too much vertical growth and not enough branching on the lower stems. Is there anything I need to do now or later to encourage branching?

Overall I'm mightily impressed by the variation of plants and can see even in these early stages this will be a fantastic hedge. I'll see if I can get pics up soon as I know a progress thread without pics is disappointing and a little pointless.

Cheers

Jonny
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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We planted a mixed native hedge about 6 years ago and like you, I was worried because we hadn't cut the plants back when first planted, but it has filled out and now looks as if it has been there for ever. The backbone of ours would be hawthorn and we didn't include rowan,oak or alder which I have no experience of in a hedge.
I presume if you need to encourage lower growth, just trim the tops...nature seems to have filled any gaps in our hedge.
And if you have any major gaps, just heel in a few extra bare-root hawthorn in the autumn.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello jdquinn. It's great to hear your hedge is doing so well. Sive is spot on about trimming the tops in the autumn. Just identify, first, any plants you might want to grow on as trees within the hedge, if that is your intention. They would be best left alone. Pics would be great - you should have some good autumn colour, too.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive, the plants will grow from where they are cut, so to ensure cover low down, give a light cut all over in summer, then another one in winter. If you only cut the top, you will end up with lots of bare stems below in a few years.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tipben, that's very good advice indeed, I will definitely keep that in mind from now on.
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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent replies guys, very much appreciated that you took the time to reply.

Anyway as promised I've put up a few pics of the hedge below. Most of the plants are really coming on well.

I was talking to my neighbor this evening, he says a bricky they work with hired a landscaper to put in his hedge. For 2 years in a row the landscaper cut the saplings to around 6 inches of the ground. Now that same man has a beautifully full and thick hedge. What species and time of year the hedge was cut I'm not sure.

My neighbor put in a Portuguese laurel about 4 years ago after several attempts at other species failed due to the extremely harsh frosts in the previous years. His hedge is now wonderfully green and full. His method was to maintain a height of around 2 - 21/2 ft until it was well knitted together and then allow it to grow. It is now around 5 ft tall at its peak this year with some parts growing more vigorously than others. But it looks fantastic, although different from what I'm attempting to create. (I'm slightly less tidy than he is Laughing )



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jdquinn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is a few pics of a couple of the plants which aren't doing so well. Can any of you give me any pointers as to what is happening here?

thanks

Jonny



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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plants that aren't doing well are having water problems. The first rowan has a bit of a leaf blight, not a problem. The second rowan and the beech either went short of water for a day or two in the heat, OR their roots are insufficient to get enough water up the stem to match the transpiration from the leaves.
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