New orchard advice for evergreen hedge

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Andy_andy, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. Andy_andy

    Andy_andy Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello all,
    Another question from me.
    In UK or at least in Oxfordshire, Cotswold and all the cider counties I can see gardens with very tall thick hedges.
    I would like your advice on which is the best green hedge and what zone is good for. I would like to green fence a plot on the North-South orientation to diminish the winds in the garden / orchard and for some privacy. At the moment I'm looking at Laurel and Layland. My plot is in the hills zone 6.
    I appreciate any help. Thank you.
     
  2. Macraignil

    Macraignil Gardener

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    Leyland cypress are very vigorous and grow very tall if left untrimmed so I would avoid this as a hedge in most situations because it takes too much work to maintain and will get too tall if it is not cut regularly. Laurel is fast growing and I have some of that in my own garden but with big leaves it works best in my opinion when it can be kept as a big hedge. Another option that I think is interesting is the Ebbing's silverberry which is said to help boost fruit yield when grown in orchard settings. It has nitrogen fixing bacteria associated with its roots so helps boost soil fertility as well as producing some edible fruit of its own.

    Happy gardening!
     
  3. Andy_andy

    Andy_andy Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks @Macraignil. Am I right saying that Layland will get "burns" and it will not regenerate?

    Laurel looks like the best option. When you say big hedge, you refer to height or width?

    Is Ebbing's silverberry commercially available in Europe?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Macraignil

    Macraignil Gardener

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    Yes, I have read before that if you trim the Leyland hedge back to the brown growth that it has closer to the trunk it will not grow fresh green leaves from these areas again and I guess these could be described as looking like burns. If you want to keep it to a particular size I think it needs to be cut back twice a year as cutting it less often can lead to these brown areas.

    Laurel gets big in both width and height but it can be cut back. The big leaves just mean trimming will often lead to cut leaves that don't look great. I cut the ones in my own garden with loppers and take out full branches to stop it getting too wide and let the height look after itself as I have the space available.

    I got a couple of Ebbing's silverberry last year in a nursery here in county Cork in Ireland just to see how they grow but have not seen it in every plant sales outlet so I think it should be available in good nurseries but maybe not every garden centre.
     
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    • Black Dog

      Black Dog Gardener of useful things

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      Personally I would go with yew bushes (taxus baccata).

      They are green through and through, don't have any nasty thorns and can be cut fairly easily
       
    • Andy_andy

      Andy_andy Apprentice Gardener

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      I've realised that Laurel leafs are toxic. So I've changed my mind about it.

      What about beech? Is not evergreen but keeps the leafs, is there any danger that it can catch fire in the winter?
       
    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      There are lots of plants that should not be eaten and I have avoided planting yew since it is supposed to be one of the more toxic ones. I also read that laurel leaves are toxic but there are horses near some growing at the edge of my own garden and they don't seem to be interested in eating them. Beech is a nice choice for a hedge but if the ground is damp hornbeam is similar and may be a better option. Never heard of beech catching fire in winter but it would be too damp here for that to happen.

      If you are interested in having the hedge be supportive to wildlife at the same time as providing a wind break a mixed planting can be better than going for just one type of hedge plant and a windbreak can work better if you have some elements that will grow taller and allow the hedge act more as a filter to the wind rather than a solid barrier that can lead to turbulence when wind goes up one side and rapidly down the other like it can do when it meets a solid wall. Here is a video clip of a hedge I planted with just hornbeam and white thorn and we intend on leaving some of the hornbeam grow up untrimmed to make it better at creating some shelter in the area in future. This type of cotoneaster also seems to be a good option for a hedge here.
       
    • Andy_andy

      Andy_andy Apprentice Gardener

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      I think beech is good because it keeps the leafs in winter, and in summer can be consumed in salad and in cocktails :). The price is also accessible, I need it on 80m. I'm thinking that I could mix it with hazel at the interior:).

      Hornbeam is similar, as it is Carpinus, but prefers warmer zones.
       
    • WeeTam

      WeeTam Total Gardener

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      Beech. Lovely greens in spring and summer, nice in autumn, keeps leaves in winter. Good wind breaker, easy to prune and leaves are good for leafmold.
       
    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      Another idea is Griselinia. It's evergreen and hardy.
       
    • Andy_andy

      Andy_andy Apprentice Gardener

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      At the moment after some more documentation, Norvegian Spruce is the best for me (and cheap).

      What is the planting distance, please?

      My guess will be 2 per meter!?!
       
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