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Help! Will additional 2nd row of beech damage established hedge?

I have 3 yr old beech hedge. It's about 7ft but not thick enough to provide good screening and I am not sure if it ever will. I live next to a busy road and the main path to the local shop. All the more reason I need a good barrier.  I am planning to add a second row of beech hedging. My dilemma is, will adding another hedge kill the roots of the existing hedge? Will the new hedge be deprived off nutrients from the established roots? Any help is appreciated as I have already ordered the 50 beech hedges for delivery in November.

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  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I think the greater problem will be that the new plants will struggle if they are close to the established ones because they will not be able to compete for nutrients and water. My advice would be to trim the older plants quite hard to encourage them to bush out: I have a single-layer beech hedge and it is about 3 foot deep. However, if you really wish to plant a second row, you will need to leave a good space between the rows and try to stagger the plants so that they fill up the gaps. I hope you have a huge garden, 50 is a very large number.
  • Thank you Posy. Yes, that was one of  my concern. The garden already has 50 beech hedges. The plan is to stagger the new ones. Concerned that too close, I'll kill the the existing roots, too far and i might have a gap in the hedge. I'll trim existing hedge  hard and hope for the best.
  • I wouldn't plant more i'd cut one side of the hedge back hard (like 6 inches or less from the main trunk) in January and then repeat on the other side the following year,
    you can also trim (as in take the tips off the new growth - not hack) the hedge with hedge shears (not powered) regularly through the summer, this will cause bushing on each branch thickening it up, the more you trim the thicker it will become.
  • Just to give you an idea, I have a Beech Hedge - it runs 60 ft and its height is from 9ft to 15ft. It's about  metre across. The trunks are about 7 inches in diameter. I wonder how thick your trunks are? 

  • Our beech is about 7ft high, 4 foot wide with the trunk 2.5 inches in diameter. Long way to go to reach its maturity i suppose. Based on suggestions I might need to cancel my outstanding order for nov delivery. Hopefully I'll get my money back. Can I add a border next to the hedge?
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