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

Sowing Blackthorn + Whitethorn Cattle Proof Fence


 
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bthorn
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Sowing Blackthorn + Whitethorn Cattle Proof Fence Reply with quote

I want to replace an existing posts + chainlink fence with a more natural row of blackthorn + whitethorn bushes.
This fence is to be thick enough (after the removal of the posts + wire) to stop cows and yearling calves brushing through.

1) Will 1 m spacing of the thorn bushes be enough ?

2) Can I alternate the bushes - e.g. 1 b'thorn, 1 w'thorn, 1 b'thorn, 1 w'thorn . . . - all along the 80 m length of the fence or is it necessary to plant say 6-10 of each type to ensure effective fertilisation of one thorn bush by another of the same kind ?
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vincentdunne
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, I would not trust any planting of either thorns to keep out large cattle on their own. Leave the fence and allow your planting to cover it up rather than remove it. Secondly, blackthorn will spread underground and I would not use it at all. A much better alternative (if required) is to mix whitethorn with beech.
You would get away with Im. but it will take longer to get good coverage of your fence. The closer you plant the quicker and better the hedge.
Thirdly, the two plants you mention are of different genera, blackthorn is Prunus while whitethorn is Crataegus so they won't pollinate each other, but they pollinate themselves anyway.
Use whitethorn on its own or mixed with beech, planting them 60cm apart.
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bthorn
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fence will be left there till the thorn hedge is strong.
A man said that you can make it more stock-proof by laying cut branches across adjacent bushes -- any view on this plan ?
Others say that a double row is best, offset from the first.
But as I want to set more attractive things like wild/bird cherry, hazel and spindle inside the west-facing thorn hedge, I won't have room for another row, I think.

As regards the mixing. I asked this question as I see them usually arranged in farm ditches as separate stretches , i.e. a stretch of say 12 blackthorns then a stretch of whitethorns, etc.
Self-pollenation by wind is possible but wouldn't it better to increase the chances of each shrub by having its own kind on either side of it ? (I don't see the bees making the journey for small amounts of nectar when there are many more flowery gardens around.)
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never layed a hedge myself, but I have seen it done. You cut part way through the lower branches until you can bend them down to fill the gaps. You can peg them in place, or leave them lying and then weave them in as they grow. I beleive it is very effective when it is done well, but, it all takes time to establish. I think it's a great plan, because the availability of relatively cheap fencing has led to the practice dwindling. Anyone taking it up is contributing to a revival - a good thing for saving on wooden fence posts and establishing more hedgerose. I am going to have a go myself when my hedges have grown sufficiently. I don't know if it will prove to be animal proof, but I hope to try.
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Defence of Blackthorn (by Blackthorn fan) Reply with quote

Blackthorn are great for specific uses. Their expansive underground habits mean that they are good for retaining soil at the edge of a sharp incline or drop. They hold on by road, path and stream edges that would have collapsed long ago if an ordinary fence, or less robust hedge had been used.They are not the only plant that does this, but I would definately put them in my top ten favourites on cold winter nights when there's a risk of flooding and the roads look so precarious...
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bthorn
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Website for Laying of Hedges Reply with quote

Just spotted this site for laying hedges.

http://www.hedgelayer.freeserve.co.uk/
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent, I will consult this myself and get good at it. Dosn't the picture of the hedge on the home page look great! Just what you need.
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hlai
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Hedge Laying in Ireland Reply with quote

For more information on Hedge Laying and details of upcomong demonstrations and trainng courses check out my sig.



Exclamation Edited by moderator to remove double link.

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Hedge Laying Association of Ireland
www.hedgelaying.ie
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verge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hlai welcome to the forums. Please familiarise with the The Irishgardeners.com forum rules , especially those concerning promotional postings.
If you would like to write a piece for us on hedge laying practices in Ireland then please feel free to start a new thread in the hedge section of the site.

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hlai
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies if the reply was considered to be promotional. I felt that it provided follow up information in connection with the content of the thread. The HLAI is a not for profit, voluntary group.
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verge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was noted alright hlai, thats why the sig was allowed stand. Nice to see the Irish side of the hedge laying practice has got some support. A few of our forums members should be well interested in it. Good luck with it.
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