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

When to trim an Irish hedgerow?


 
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 6:51 am    Post subject: When to trim an Irish hedgerow? Reply with quote

To one side of my garden is a typical Irish "ditch", i.e. a hedgerow of blackthorn, hawthorn and willow.
It's in need of a trim and I'm wondering what time of year is the best to do this?

Note, this is a domestic hedge just like the beech we have out front (best trimmed in August) and is being trimmed and not cut, therefore the EU directive does not apply.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notwithstanding what you say but I would like to know how the EU distinguish between a trim and a cut.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best time is when it is dormant, ie leafless. Definitely do not cut before August (nesting birds), and also a higher chance of fungal infection due to active sap flow. You will also lose any autumn fruit, and possibly reduce next year's flowering. Try to hold off, and get into a regular winter pruning regime.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A trim is where you remove a year's growth or less whereas a cut is more than a year's growth.
The former will not disturb nests as nests are built within the branch (i.e. hardwood) structure.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As our house was built before 'Line of Sight' regulations, I have to 'trim' the hazel hedge to the right of the drive in the summer - but only up to 4ft, so I can see up the road. The left-hand hedge is set back off the road, so that gets 'cut' any time from Nov - March.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gautama wrote:
A trim is where you remove a year's growth or less whereas a cut is more than a year's growth.
The former will not disturb nests as nests are built within the branch (i.e. hardwood) structure.


Yep, that makes sense. I was just curious.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am soooo tempted to ask a question Sue but I wont.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with all on the general concept of "trim" versus "cut". I still maintain that neither should be done on a hardwood hedgerow while it is in leaf.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so I did a bit of research. Blackthorn, hawthorn and willow all fall into RHS Pruning Group 1. The time of year for this is group is late winter/early spring. However, as blackthorn is from the cherry family it is susceptible to silver leaf, so it should be trimmed in mid-summer if this disease is a problem.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely there are two factors affecting when to remove growth. The first is how best to remove it without damaging the plant/tree itself, and, as has been said above, this should be done when the sap is down in the rootstock. Diseased parts can be cut as soon as they appear. The second factor is disturbance to wildlife, notably birds, but, irrespective of where a nest might be located, the sudden disappearance of much of the cover above it will often encourage the parent birds to desert.

With any deciduous species the leaves will usually fall in October/November, signifying that the life giving sap has left the outer parts. By early December the process will be complete, and only freak weather conditions will have encouraged birds to begin nesting, so the month of December will always be the optimum time to prune unwanted growth. That's not to say it can't be done in January if winter weather persists, but one won't know that in advance.

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