Hedgerow Planting Guide

Benefits of Farm Hedgerows

Hedges provide many benefits to the landowner and to the landscape as a whole:

  • The creation of boundaries to define ownership and divide fields
  • Provide shelter for farm animals, game and crops
  • Screening of buildings for security and visual amenity
  • Provide a valuable habitat for wildlife and insects
  • Provide conservation corridors linking small woodlands

Hedgerow Preparation

Careful planning is required in order to establish a healthy hedge. Consideration should be given to existing ground vegetation and the general condition of the ground along the proposed hedge line. We recommend that existing vegetation growth is flailed or strimmed and that any remaining weeds and grasses are sprayed with a suitable herbicide prior to planting. This will provide a clean bed for the plants, improve the quality of the planting and reduce weed growth during the following spring and summer.

Hedgerow Species Choice

We recommend that the hedgerow be made up of predominantly Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), say 70%, with the 30% balance of species coming from three of the following, Field Maple (Acer campestre), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Dog Rose (Rosa canina), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus), Spindleberry (Euonymus europaeus) or Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea). The size of plants recommended are 40-60cm in height and are available as seedlings or two year transplants. All plants are available in bare root form except Holly. Plants should be protected with spirals and canes or Tubex tree tubes and stakes.

Hedgerow Planting

New hedgerows should be planted in two staggered rows 30cm apart. Between four and six plants per metre should be planted. Minor species can be planted in small single species groups or randomly within larger blocks of Hawthorn. Notch plant bare-rooted stock, insert the supporting cane approx 25cm into the ground, alongside the plant, and wrap the clear spiral guard around both the plant and the cane. Pit plant Holly and protect with tree tube and supporting stake. For hedgerow aftercare see Maintenance Advice Note.