Trimming the roots on a bare-root hedge

How to plant a bare-root hedge

Find out how to plant a bare-root hedge in winter, with the help of our practical guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do To do in January

Do To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do To do in October

Do To do in November

Do To do in December

The perfect time to plant a new hedge is between October and February. Bare-root plants, like beech, hornbeam and yew are ideal as they’re cheap and easy to plant during the dormant season.

Before planting, prepare the site by digging over the ground 30cm either side of the hedge line. Also, remove weeds and add bonemeal to promote root growth, as you go.

To get hedge plants off to the best start, it’s critical that the roots are kept moist after delivery. Unwrap then soak the bundle for an hour in a bucket of water, then plant.

Here’s how to plant a bare-root hedge.

You will need

  • Bare-root hedging plants
  • Secateurs
  • Spade
  • Garden line

Total time:

Step 1

Lightly prune the roots of the bare-root plants with secateurs to encourage vigorous new growth.


Step 2

Cut a V-shaped trench as deep as the plant roots. Ensure it’s straight by using a taut line.


Step 3

Insert plants into the trench at 45cm spacings – this is suitable for most hedging plants.


Step 4

Ensure plants are at the same depth they were previously and tread soil in around their roots.