Beech Hedge | Pruning an established Beech Hedge | Advice from Ashridge Nurseries
Beech Hedging - Clipping and Pruning
The notes below apply to mature beech hedges in good condition that have reached or are near their final height.
- New hedges: Formative clipping of a new beech hedge is necessary: Please read that section if you have just planted or are planning to plant a beech hedge.
- Old Hedges: If you have an overgrown, sparse old hedge, please see our notes on restoring an old beech hedge.
Clipping and Pruning a Mature Beech Hedge
After the first two years formative pruning, your hedge should be well on its way to becoming a mature hedge. The advice below also applies if you have bought a property with an established hedge in good condition.
Overall Shape: Generally speaking, you are aiming to give your hedge a slightly tapered shape, a bit like this but with less steep sides: / \
- The point of doing this is ensure that light can reach the lowest branches.
- If these branches don't get enough light, they will produce fewer leaves.
- If your hedge has a south facing side that gets full sun all day, then you can make that side vertical, like this: | \ where the left hand edge represents the south facing side and the north facing side is sloped as normal.
When to clip your mature beech hedge: A light clipping twice a year is all that's needed:
- In Early June. This clipping keeps your hedge bushy.
- In Early August. This clipping produces a late flush of new leaves - these are the leaves that will stay on the branches through winter.
If you need to prune out a branch for any reason, do this in winter when the tree is dormant.
We have a great selection of bareroot beech hedge plants for planting between November and March and potted plants for summer delivery.