London (change)
13 messages
02/01/2013 at 12:18

Hello to all. I have been planting a mixed hedge over the last few days and would like some clue as to when it will eventually start to resemble a hedge. I know its not going to be instant but just some clue as to years.

02/01/2013 at 13:36

What's in the mix? How old are the plants you put in? What's the soil like?

02/01/2013 at 18:10

Hi I have put in Oak,Holly,Dogwood,Dogrose,Alder and Hawthorn. The plants are 2year old whips. I am on a good clay soil. Thanks for your response.

02/01/2013 at 18:58

Holly and Hawthorn can be hedge or tree, but Oak and Alder are better as trees rather than hedge. Dog rose is a nice filler.  Had you thought of hazel or blackthorn or whitebeam?

02/01/2013 at 20:26

I agree with welshonion about the oak, if you've room have a tree. Having said that, if you have a tree you won't have good hedge to each side eventually, it'll be shaded out. Hawthorn is a good base for hedge you want lots of that, it's reliable, grows and thickens up quickly. Hazel coppices well so if it gets thin at the bottom you can cut it back to start again and make thicker growth. Alder and blackthorn and some of the dogwoods sucker, that's good or bad depending on how much space you've got. Holly is a bit slow and can get lost. You'll have a reasonable hedge in 5 years (if you have enough hawthorn) praps sooner. In 10 years it will be great. Don't be tempted to let it grow up to get height quickly. It won't thicken up if you do that. Cut it.

Don't let ivy move in to start with. A mature hedge can cope with a bit and it's wildlife friendly but can seriously compromise a young hedge. 

What else have I learned over the last 20 years of hedge? Watch the dogrose, it puts out long, painful growths to smack you in the face. Ditto brambles but blackberries are good.  Old man's beard smothers. Can't think of anything else at the moment. 


03/01/2013 at 08:59

Thanks for that! It is mostly Hawthorn and Hazel I have used. The whips are between 12" to 18". I suppose I now need to cut them back?

03/01/2013 at 09:17

I'd go to about 9" just above a good bud, not worrying too much about precise height. 

03/01/2013 at 10:15

You do not cut back 2 year old whips. Let them grow for a season or so and then remove the leader so that the hedge fills outwards and not upwards. You will put the hedge back 2 years by cutting them down now to 9''. You only prune down if restoring a hedge, doing so now to a plant with little roots is stupid.


03/01/2013 at 13:27

Now I am confused! All the advice I have looked at elsewhere seems to be conflicting.I need the hedge to be 6 or 7 ft  eventually.

03/01/2013 at 18:40
stuart 5 wrote (see)

Now I am confused! All the advice I have looked at elsewhere seems to be conflicting.I need the hedge to be 6 or 7 ft  eventually.

Nothing to be confused about - you are starting a hedge, not regenerating an old one. If you want the hedge to be bushy and erm hedge like then you cut the leading part of the whip and that forces the side branches to grow and you get a thick hedge. You do that in year 3-4, you are in year 0. Even if you want it tall and thin, the trees still need to be pruned or they will be thinner at the bottom. You want the hedge to be thinner at the top than bottom for various reasons.

03/01/2013 at 21:00

Don't be too confused Stuart. If you ask a forum you get peoples ideas and they'll be different. People will tell you what they did and what worked for them. 

03/01/2013 at 21:15

Might be helpful

03/01/2013 at 21:19

Sorry, can't make this work, I copied it from you tube, there are lots there to watch

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13 messages