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I planted bare rooted beach hedge plants last November. Each has a cane and a spiral to protect them from rabbits etc. They are now all very green and leafy so how long should I leave the spirals on? They seem a bit restricted with the spirals on but not sure if taking them off will harm them. Advice would be really helpful. Thanks!
If you have rabbit problems Corinne I'd leave them on for the rest of the summer so that they get a chance to establish and withstand the bunny onslaught!
OK good advice, thank you. I assume the spirals don't inhibit the plants' growth then?
They shouldn't really Corinne- beech is pretty tough and it's better than exposing them as rabbits can just annihilate them almost instantly. Once they have a good strong 'trunk' and root system they will be able to withstand the munching! Bare root hedging establishes well, so if they're well watered and fed, by this time next year they should be reasonably sturdy.
I see lots of beech hedging around here 4/5ft high still with their spirals on, so unless you want to use them for something else i should leave them on.
I hate tree spirals but then I've never had to try and establish a hedge on rabbit infested land. Still they are preferable to those ghastly plastic tubes you see with great tufts of grass growing out of the top and a couple of rather forlorn oak leaves.
My main concern with spirals and tubes is that they can inhibit the lower trunk of the hedge plants from branching and this can result in a bare trunk and hence a thin bare hedge bottom later on.
However if you have a rabbit problem they are probably essential to allow the plants to establish. The alternative is to fence off the whole area with netting and that can prove expensive.