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New hedge after conifer removal


Hope I'm posting in the right place. 

We're about to have some conifers removed that are rather too close to our house (and nearly as tall!). When they are gone (roots are being dug out, not just ground down) we'd like to replace with a nice wild mixed hedge.

Is there anything we should be conscious of regarding the ground after removing these three trees? How should we prepare the soil etc? We're in N Essex on clay soil.

Any help much appreciated!



  • After conifers the ground is likely to be quite impoverished and acid even though you are on clay soil.

    When the roots are removed the soil should have been quite well dug, but it would be a good idea to dig over thoroughly and incorporate as much well rotted compost or something like spent mushroom compost (this will add lime as well to raise the pH again). When you take out a trench for the new hedge it would be a good idea to put in a root control barrier membrane on the inner face to direct the hedge roots down.  Put root control membrane into search engine, lots will come up, prices vary enormously. This will stop the roots going out into the bed or rest of the garden. If you do not your plants will have to fight for food water & nutrients all their life.

    AB Still learning

  • Hi Iain

    Thanks for the reply. 

    The hedge will run along the side of a lawned front garden, with no beds, though I take on board what you say about the barrier membrane. 

    Would you recommend the soil be left for a period of time after digging in compost etc and before planting the hedge?


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,088

    Maybe a couple of weeks for levels to settle in case you need more.

    When you do plant, make sure the soil is neither frozen nor water-logged and that the roots have been soaked in water to rehydrate them - an hour or overnight in a bucket for bare root or, if in pots, dunk the whole thing in water until no more air bubbles appear and then, when you remove from the pot, tease out the roots with your fingers to encourage them to grow out into the soil.

    Water the whole row well after planting.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,864

    Hi  alp, nice to see you back, how's ' your garden coming on? 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lyn says:

    Hi  alp, nice to see you back, how's ' your garden coming on? 

    See original post

     Hi Lyn

    i think you think i am someone else image I am new around here. Or at least think I haven't posted before image

    But since you ask, my garden for the most part is a crazy mess, but fun!

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,864

    No change there then????

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Life is full of coincidences ... Essex isn't known for its mountain ranges, but it does seem that there are two Alps there image

    What sort of plants are you planning for your mixed wildlife hedge? 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • We found a supplier online offering 50% blackthorn and then the rest made up of Wild Cherry, Field Maple, Dog Rose and Hazel. We need some in the back garden and then replacing the conifers out front. We hope the wildlife will like it. 

    To be honest I'd rather not be removing trees in the first place but it seems they weren't maintained for years before we moved in and the biggest is just 3 metres from the house. Hopefully the hedge will be a good replacement.

  • That sounds like a really nice mix  ... similar to hedges we had when we lived in rural Mid Suffolk  .... nice to have the dog rose in there to knit it all together ... when it all gets established you could introduce a honeysuckle as well image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Alp78,  I would be a bit cautious with Blackthorn, I have no personal experience but apparently it can sucker & spread so you will definitely need the membrane or chose something else.

    AB Still learning

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