Beech Hedge Plants

Green & Copper Beech Hedging - Fagus sylvatica

Beech is one of the best hedging plants in the UK. Both green and copper beech grow in most soils and locations. The main exceptions are ground which is badly drained and shady positions. These are very versatile hedge plants - beech is widely chosen in formal settings but it also makes a wonderful stock proof hedge planted on top of bunds and Devon banks where it loves the drainage and light. Beech hedging is livestock friendly, making it ideal for stables, studs and the like. Alternatively, take a look at the rest of our hedge plants. If your site is damp and/or shady, then instead of beech hedging we recommend Hornbeam instead.

Beech in Summary

  • Uses: Formal and stock-friendly hedges from 100 cms upwards
  • Good Points: Native, holds leaves in winter, clips beautifully
  • Position: Anywhere there is drainage and light
  • Growth: 20-30 cms p.a.

Choosing, Planting and Caring for a Beech Hedge

Green Beech Hedge

Choosing Beech

There are three considerations when choosing beech hedging:

  1. Colour - Copper is more dramatic, more expensive and probably adds more value. Green is an easier backdrop and so more versatile.
  2. Position and Soil - Beech grows best on alkaline soils such as those on chalk or sandstone. However as long as the drainage is good, it will tolerate a surprising range including acid soils.
  3. Size - The smaller the plant you start with, the denser the hedge you get as you are able to clip more frequently and carefully in the formative years than a commercial grower. The price you pay is that you have to wait longer. So 40-80 cms for the patient gardener and 80-150 cms for those of us with less time.

Planting a Beech Hedge

If you are using smaller plants - up to 80 cms tall, then follow the instructions in our video on how to plant a country hedge. This explains slit planting which is entirely suitable for young beech hedging. You will need spirals and canes if you have rabbits nearby and we always recommend using Rootgrow. Unless you need a stockproof hedge plant at 3 plants per metre in a single row.

For any plants that are 80 cms and above, you will need to take out a trench, so watch the video on planting a formal hedge. These plants are bigger and less attractive to rabbits, so it is your call as to whether you use spirals or not.

Whatever size you plant, water very well indeed after planting and make sure the soil does not dry out as beech is shallow rooted in its early years. For the same reason, keep the ground under your new hedge clear of weeds until the plants cast enough shade to prevent weed growth themselves.

Beech Hedge Aftercare

Most important is to make sure your beech hedge is watered and weeded until it is established. Next, nip off the tips of wayward branches after planting - just the gentlest trim. After that, whenever you think the plants are looking a bit too “shaggy (maybe twice a year), repeat the process as with each clip you force new buds into growth making your beech hedge bushier.

For more detailed notes, apart from watching the videos mentioned above, have a look at our comprehensive advice on how to plant a beech hedge.

Beech Hedge Plants for Sale

You can buy Green Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea) singly and we also sell green beech in discounted packs of 50 in the lafrger sizes.

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  1. Beech Hedging Plants - Packs of 50 bareroot plants
    • 3 sizes 80-150 cms Bareroot Saplings
    • Needs good drainage.
    • Holds leaves in winter.
    • Classic Formal hedging
    • Bareroot Delivery: Nov-April
    From £71.11

    • Size sold: 40-175 cm
    • Hedge: 1m to very tall
    • Soil: dislikes poor drainage
    • Use: Formal/Native
    • Single Row: 3/m
    • Colour: green/brown
    • Great to add structure
    From £0.49

    • Size sold: 40-175 cm
    • Height: 1m to very tall
    • Soil: well drained soil
    • Use: Formal/Native
    • Single Row: 3/m
    • Double row: 5/m
    • Colour: purple
    From £1.02

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