Hawthorn Hedging - Tip No. 3

Another hawthorn tip for those of you who planted your quickthorn (same as hawthorn) whips last year.  Hopefully you followed our instructions and cut each plant back by half when you planted it.  Equally hopefully, they all survived the weird winter last year and the very dry April.  (Second dry spring in a row for those who are counting).

If they did both of the above, then each little stick should by now have somewhere between two and five side branches and be beginning to make a little hawthorn bush.  If they are, here is tip number 3 for hawthorn beginners.

Be brave and cut those side branches (some of which are probably 30-40 cms long back by half again. Don't do it exactly now, but don't forget to get the shears out between the end of November and the beginning of March.

If you do this, then each branch will behave in the same way as the original stem did last winter. In spring, between two and five dormant buds will break into growth below each cut.  So your (average) 3 branches per plant will produce 3 side branches each and the little bush will have all the making of a thicket.

Which is what you want in the best hawthorn hedge.

2 thoughts on “Hawthorn Hedging - Tip No. 3”

  • Vicki

    I am confused about buying beech hedging. We would like it to be tall as quickly as possible but have been advised by family not to try and buy taller plants (5 to 6 feet) as they risk being very spindly. Will a four year old plant not be quite well branched, especially when grown for hedging? I have read we will have to trim down whatever we buy and that is fine but I don't want to spend a lot buying a taller product to end up with a thin hedge through buying tall plants in the first place! Help!

    Reply
    • julian

      When buying beech hedging there is always a balance to be struck between initial size and ultimate bushiness. If you go to http://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/European-Beech-Hedge-Packs you will see a picture of row of beech hedge plants in front of a red car. The plants are 100/125cm beech in the first summer after planting, planted in a single row at 33cms between plants. They would be much denser if they had been planted at the same spacing but in two rows as a zig zag (a total of 5 per metre). However, planted as pictured they will have joined up in another year. So I would go for either this size or for 120/150 cms plants which are similarly bushy.

      Hope this helps

      Reply
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