Frequently Asked Questions

Poisonous Plants

The following listed plants are known to contain toxins, which may be harmful to humans and animals:

Aesculus(horse chestnut) – somewhat poisonous
xCuprocyparis leylandii(Leyland cypress) – skin irritant
Euonymus(spindle tree) – somewhat poisonous
Ligustrum(privet) – somewhat poisonous
Prunus laurocerasus(cherry laurel, laurel) – poisonous
Prunus lusitanica(Portugal laurel) – seed kernels are poisonous
Rhamnus(alder buckthorn, common buckthorn) – poisonous; skin irritant
Symphoricarpus(snowberry) – poisonous
Taxus(Yew) poisonous

Drawn from the HTA list of harmful plants. This list is not exhaustive and other listed plants may have harmful effects depending on levels of exposure/consumption. If planting in situations where grazing/browsing animals may have access to plants it is best to seek further advice.

When can I start clipping my hedge?
Beech, Yew, Hornbeam and Box hedging are best left to establish for a year before pruning.

Once the plants are settled in, lightly trim the sides to give the hedge some shape – usually leave the top leaders until they have reached the height you want the hedge to be

Many species benefit from hard pruning by a third or more at planting or by early spring after planting, to encourage basal growth. These include all our native hedge mixes, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Privet, Lonicera nitida, Cotoneasters, and Laurel.

How quickly will my hedge grow?
Most plants will grow between 30cm (12”) and 45cm (18”) per year, but much will depend on soil conditions, preparation and aftercare. A hedge that is mulched to reduce weed competition and retain moisture will establish and grow much faster than if left to its own devices. We always recommend ROOTGROW to help get plants established quickly and to resist drought.

Well cared for plants should form a good hedge after 3 to 5 years depending on variety.

Best Hedge Plants or Trees for wet sites and clay soils?
Alders, Amelanchier, Silver Birch, Blackthorn, Dogwoods (all), Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Mountain Ash, Oak, Sea Buckthorn, Snowberry, Western Red Cedar, Wild Pear, Willows and most native hedge plants.
Best Hedge Plants or Trees for dry, sandy or stony soils?
Berberis, Box, Cotoneasters, Cotton Lavender, Holly, Hornbeam, Japanese Holly, Lavenders, Lonicera, Myrobalan Plum, Privet, Red Oak, Rosemary, Silver Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Yew and most native hedge plants.
Best Hedge Plants or Trees for chalky soils?
Ash, Beech, Berberis, Box, Cotoneasters, Field Maple, Horse Chestnut, Hornbeam, Lilac, Lonicera, Privet, Silver Birch, Snowberry, Spindle, Roses, Rosemary, Western Red Cedar, Yew and most native hedge plants.
Best Hedge Plants or Trees for windy, exposed sites?
Beech, Blackthorn, Common Alder, Dogwoods, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Holly, Hornbeam, Mountain Ash, English Oak, Sea Buckthorn, Scots Pine, Silver Birch, Willows, Yew and most native hedge plants.
Best Hedge Plants or Trees for coastal areas?
Alder, Box, Blackthorn, Cotoneasters, Cotton Lavender, English Oak, Escallonia, Field Maple, Holm Oak, Hawthorn, Holly, Japanese Holly, Lavenders, Leyland Cypress, Mountain Ash, Native Privet, Roses, Rosemary, Sea Buckthorn, Sweet Chestnut, and Willows.
Best Hedge Plants or Trees for dense shade?
Box, Berberis, Cotoneaster lacteus, Cotoneaster franchetii, Holly, Hornbeam, Privet, Lonicera, Laurel, Snowberry, and Yew Hedging.
Prickly Hedge plants (to deter unwanted visitors): Berberis, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Holly, Myrobalan Plum, Sea Buckthorn, Roses.

Evergreen Hedge plants: Box, Cotoneaster (lacteus, franchetii, simonsii), Cotton Lavender, Holly, Holm Oak, Japanese Holly, Common Laurel, Portuguese Laurel, Lavenders, Leyland Cypress, Lonicera, Privets, Western Red Cedar and Yew Hedging. (NB. Green/Purple Beech and Hornbeam both hold onto their brown Autumn leaves through Winter)

Fast Growing Hedge plants: Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Leyland Cypress, Lonicera nitida, Privet, Dog Rose, Western Red Cedar and many native hedge plants.

Countryside Stewardship Hedging:: Mixed native hedging, grant eligible under Mid and Higher Tier schemes. Traditional Native Hedge Mix, Exotic Native Hedge Mix, Thornless Native Hedge Mix. Plant at a minimum of 6 plants per metre, double row 40cm apart. Planting window:1st November – 31st March

How many plants per metre?
– Mixed hedges are normally planted in a staggered double row @ 5-7 plants per metre.

– Beech and Hornbeam, plant @ 3 per metre single row or @ 5 per metre double row.

– Common Box and Japanese Holly, plant @ 5-6 per metre single row.

– Dwarf Box, plant @ 6-8 per metre single row.

– Yew and Laurel, plant @ 2 per metre single row

– Privet, Lonicera, Lavenders, Cotoneasters and Roses, plant @ 3 per metre.

© 2020 Glebe Farm Hedging

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