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Old 23 February 2008, 15:36   #1
spectrum48k
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Default How to thicken my hedge ?

No the title wasn't a euphemism!

We have an existing hedge, approx 6ft tall, running up the side of our house, which sheds from autumn to late spring. The trouble is, the living room looks out onto this hedge and its very bare when it has no leaves, so its not very private.

My first thought was to replace the hedge with a fence, but then I wondered if it was possible to thicken the hedge somehow?

For example could we add ivy into the mix, allow it to grow into the hedge in the hope any gaps will be filled ?

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 23 February 2008, 16:01   #2
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Any idea what kind of hedge it is? You can usually take them down by about a third, and that will encourage them to sprout from the bottom. Also, do it before or after nesting season.
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Old 23 February 2008, 18:09   #3
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not sure why kind of hedge it is - will find out.

"take them down by a third" do you mean trim the sides by a third?
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Old 23 February 2008, 18:13   #4
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From the top

Trim the sides a bit as well.
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Old 23 February 2008, 18:16   #5
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Try planting something in it thats evergreen.... that way it'll always be in leaf!
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Old 23 February 2008, 22:01   #6
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i was told by my farmer neighbour not to cut it square / box shape. if the top is narrower than the bottom then the hedge will fill out thicker and the bottom will not go leggy. regular trimming will also help to thicken your bush

you colud alsp try laying the hedge but at 6ft this may be difficult Hedge Laying

if you are going to add something like an evergreen creeper be careful as this may strangle the life out of your hedge
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Old 23 February 2008, 22:05   #7
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And there was I thinking Spectrum was a female ..... damn!

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Old 23 February 2008, 22:20   #8
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Leylandii
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Old 24 February 2008, 11:36   #9
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Don't plant an ivy, withn 15 years the hedge will be dead or very poorly, as it sounds like you have a hawthorn, or something similar, underplant with holly, it will cope with the shade nicely and will grow through it slowly. Evergreen so will close the gaps, will take about 6-8 years to get up 6ft though.
P.S. make sure that you water the holly for the first 2-3 years in the summer, as the mature hedge will suck up all the water from its immature roots.
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Old 24 February 2008, 15:42   #10
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"Trim my Hedge"
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Old 24 February 2008, 16:39   #11
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great comments lads - thanks

so holly could be the answer ? I'll look into it. What distance apart should they be planted ?

any other evergreens which will give a good thick hedge ?

Last edited by spectrum48k; 24 February 2008 at 16:45.
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Old 24 February 2008, 16:40   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicky ticker View Post
i was told by my farmer neighbour not to cut it square / box shape. if the top is narrower than the bottom then the hedge will fill out thicker and the bottom will not go leggy. regular trimming will also help to thicken your bush

you colud alsp try laying the hedge but at 6ft this may be difficult Hedge Laying

if you are going to add something like an evergreen creeper be careful as this may strangle the life out of your hedge
think I remember this done on Hugh F-W's place on River Cottage ?
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Old 24 February 2008, 16:48   #13
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Yew is good.........holly is a barsteward when you want to trim it (we've got some holly in ours, and it's very prickly!! )

Got any pics?
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Old 24 February 2008, 17:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsplice View Post
Yew is good.........holly is a barsteward when you want to trim it (we've got some holly in ours, and it's very prickly!! )

Got any pics?
good idea - I'll post some pics up tomorrow
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Old 24 February 2008, 17:10   #15
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Privet being the classic hedge material, bit boring though. Beech is OK as even though deciduous the leaves seem to stay on, slow growing. Or Laurel or just conifers. I think you will need something that won't mind growing up in an existing hedge but a decent garden centre should know. I don't think Ivy would do what you want.

Or buy some thicker curtains
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Old 24 February 2008, 17:16   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Lock View Post
Privet being the classic hedge material, bit boring though. Beech is OK as even though deciduous the leaves seem to stay on, slow growing. Or Laurel or just conifers. I think you will need something that won't mind growing up in an existing hedge but a decent garden centre should know. I don't think Ivy would do what you want.

Or buy some thicker curtains
I agree with the ivy thing.........it's a pain, throwing runners out everywhere and choking everything. I had a laurel years ago in another house, and the leaves are so big, they don't rot down very well, also, if you trim them with hedge trimmers they tend to leave half leaves and then it looks scruffy (does that make sense? Too many leaf/leave/leaves in that sentence! )
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Old 24 February 2008, 17:41   #17
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In relation to above. Privet will not survive in heavy shade, so growing through the hedge is not going to happen unless one side is south facing.
Yew is excellent, if you are willing to wait 15 years+ for it to even reach the top of the hedge, never mind thicken it up. (see the millenium maze 8 years on and its about 4 ft tall and thats unobstucted growth!!!.)
Laurel as oldsplice pointed out cannot be cut tidyly with clippers, it a secateur job, used to take me 3 days to cut a 6ft laurel hedge 50ft long, and that was 3 times a year!!.
If you want to keep the neighbours out another alternative is berberis, not even a cat will try to get through that is so spiky!!!.
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Old 24 February 2008, 17:42   #18
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Whoops planting distances for through planting are about every 18inches if the plantings are about 12 inches tall.
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Old 24 February 2008, 18:58   #19
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What sort of soil do you have? Is the site shady or in full sun? Do you want to hedge to be a feature (maybe with variegated leaves), or will you be planting up in front of it?
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Old 24 February 2008, 19:04   #20
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Don't use holly, planted near buildings it can be a subsidence issue. Massive headache for Church maintenance is root damage from holly.
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Old 24 February 2008, 19:26   #21
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PHNARR!
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Old 24 February 2008, 20:24   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53WRX View Post
Don't use holly, planted near buildings it can be a subsidence issue. Massive headache for Church maintenance is root damage from holly.
If on heavy clay, and you allow it to become a tree. In all the training I had at college, I have never heard of a hedge causing subsidence, as any plant in general will not grow roots much bigger than the canopys spread, so that it catches the run off.
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Old 24 February 2008, 20:54   #23
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Rip it out and start again with beech. The leaves die but stay on so you still get cover.

You'll need to dig in plenty of good quality mulch to refresh the soil and make sure you water id regulalry through the first summer.

Go to:

ReadyHedge : Hedging UK : Ready Spaced, Ready To Plant, Ready When You Are

You get get instant hedging up to 6 feet high. It'd dead easy.

For something different there's an evergreen called Photinia Red Robin that is green but new leaves are red and this is really attractive too.

Don't plant leylandii!!
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Old 25 February 2008, 10:58   #24
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I agree with the beech suggestion. Copper leaves in winter, green in summer.

Hedging Plant Pictures: Purple Beech, Green Beech, Purple Berberis
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Old 25 February 2008, 11:12   #25
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maybe theere will be some good bargains to come on the market soon
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Old 25 February 2008, 11:12
 
 
 
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