Forum home Problem solving

Hornbeam Hedge TLC

~Jenna~~Jenna~ Posts: 31
edited February 2019 in Problem solving
I have a new hornbeam hedge (I would guess that it's been in 18 months). Which i want to help as it seems to be struggling throughout the year. It was watered everyday last summer.
The ground it is planted in is clay, could this be the problem?
Would they benefit from well rotted manure being dug in?
Or anything else I can do?


  • In what way is it struggling? Poor growth? Leaf loss? Chlorosis?

    I planted a hornbeam hedge on a heavy alkaline wet clay and it was fine. I did prepare the planting trench with lots of compost and added a slow release fertilizer.

    It will be difficult to dig anything in now that the hedge is planted (risk of root damage), but spreading stuff on the surface might help.
  • It didn't grow much, it's quite spindley not very bushy and it has lost nearly all of its leaves. 
    They are planted quite shallowly. Last summer a couple died and so I dug some up from another area I plan to remove and the roots hadn't gone far at all that's why I wondered if the soil wasn't doing them any favours.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Clay sometimes becomes waterlogged in winter and dries like concrete in summer. Neither state is good for trees. Ideally, you should have prepared the soil before you planted, digging in muck and grit to improve the texture and raising it a little if drainage is a problem. The best you can do now is spread well composted manure round, but not touching, the trees and cross your fingers.

    Watering every day may have caused damage, too. You need to wait until the surface is dry, then water very thoroughly.

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