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Hi - we have a very exposed small garden with a frequent, strong south west wind. (It blew a secured 10ft trampoline 2 fields away last winter!!). We'd like to plant a new hedge and favour some fruit bushes. My preference would be for blackcurrant, raspberry and, if possible, a smaller sloe. I'm just not sure if they would survive. Should we mix with other hedging? Is there anything we can do to make it stronger?
To fruit well blackcurrant and raspberry need to be regularly pruned so am not sure that you would get much fruit whilst maintaining enough of the plant/canes to create a hedge? But both would probably cope with the winds, I dont know anything about sloe
What about some other native edibles such as elder (flowers and berries can be used), hazel and maybe blackberry- I expect these would all be robust. Rugosa roses are tough and I think you can use the hips although not sure how tasty they really are.
Thanks - I was wondering about elder too. I don't want to do blackberry as there are so many wild plants nearby already. I fancy hazel though and hadn't thought of that. I think if I put the fruit bushes down the side (it's a sort of U shape) and have more traditional hedging along the front, the fruit should work ok. I think you're right about the pruning so I'll need to work out how to weave into other plants to keep the volume.
I wouldn't call a blackthorn a fruit tree in the commonly understood way. It makes a good stock-proof hedge, but you can grow it as a hedge, or a free-standing tree. It does of course have nasty spines/thorns.
Blackcurrant and raspberry are not suitable for a hedge. Raspberry needs pruning to the ground every year and blackcurrant would not grow well in a hedge.
You might be better growing conventional hedge species as a wind-break and growing fruit trees conventionally on the sheltered side.
You could include bullace in a wild fruit hedge - it would work better than blackcurrant and raspberry and give more usable fruit than sloe http://www.readsnursery.co.uk/categories/Plums-and-Gages/Bullaces/