The Best Beech Hedge

We were at a friend's house for lunch today and on the way in, walking though his garden, I admired his beech hedge. It is not an old beech hedge, maybe 5 years (although I need to check).  What struck me about it were two things:

1.  It was very full - the lowest branched were ON the ground. No gaps or ugly legs at the bottom.

2.  It was incredibly dense.  The leaves (all dead now of course but that lovely rich golden brown only beech has) were absolutely crammed together. It was amazing how many there were on a hedge that was less than 3 feet tall.

So, over lunch I asked the obvious question - "Who did you get those fabulous beech hedge plants from?"  To which (I kid you not) the reply was "You".

We sell a lot of hedging, and I can be forgiven for forgetting that in (probably) 2003 or 2004 my mate Dave, who buys loads of stuff from us, had acquired 250 beech hedge plants. He could not remember how tall they were, but guessed they were less than 2 feet.  What he had done, was broken most of the rules. He had planted them, not trimmed them at all and "waited" until they were growing avay happily.  Someone then said that he should have cut them back, so, as best he can remember he had cut them back by between 1/2 and 2/3rds in (probably) June or July....

They had bushed out low down and he was so pleased with the outcome, that he has cut them back every year since, removing about half of the new growth  from the year before.  All I can say is that the result is a fantastic hedge.  I am not saying that this brutal regime is for everyone, but it has certainly worked for him.

Next time we go there, I might just remember the camera...

Sit back, watch your garden grow and Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “The Best Beech Hedge”

  • Roger Dalton

    Interesting post - my dad who cam from lincolnshire said "hedge" was a local word that meant to cut back and keep on cutting back. Sounds like that is what you mate dave did to his beech hedge. Talking of which I have a beech hedge that is a bit overgrown - is now the time to hack it back?

    Reply
  • Andrew Lane

    We have a huge beech hedge in the garden - the trunks of the beech must be at least 30cms in diameter. It has become rather oversized - way too fat and rather ragged. Neither of us know anything about beech hedge plants (which is probably why it is in a mess). What do we do to put it back in shape?

    Thanks
    Andy

    Reply
  • Julian

    Hi Andrew - any chance of a picture? or more description as it must be huge given the trunk sizes. Your question about restoring a beech hedge reminds me that I really ought to write something more detailed on the subject than this reply. But here goes.

    This is almost the perfect time of year (but not on a freezing day) to really have a good hack at your beech hedge. Don't be scared about cutting too much off - beech hedge plants will regrow from old wood.

    Good luck

    Reply
  • Julian

    Finally - if you care to visit Beech Hedge renewal you will find my best shot at what to do if you want to renovate an old beech hedge. Please comment if you think it is missing something... or even if you think it is perfect.

    Reply
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