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Pleached Trees advice - Photinia / Hornbeam

JasonLeeJasonLee WarwickshirePosts: 2
Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I am looking for some advice on pleached hedges.

We are looking to plant some in our back garden to create a privacy screen.
It would need to be higher than the fence as our neighbours have created a raised area at the back of their garden which now overlooks into our garden.

The area does not get very much sun in the morning but gets plenty in the afternoon and evening. 
It can get windy in winter.
Local soil is very much clay and can get a bit waterlogged. The area we are looking to plant will be prepared though.

We're currently looking at either Photinia Red Robin or Hornbeam:  
- Photinia as it's evergreen and we like the colour changes
- Hornbeam because it does well in windy locations, partial shade, and poor soils. Also I believe as Hornbeam is officially classed as deciduous it is excluded in high hedge laws?

I have a few questions if anyone has any experience and can advise?

1) How dense will the Photinia get as a pleached hedge? Will it be dense enough to be a good privacy screen?

2) How well do Photinia pleached trees do in wind and semi-shade?

3) I've read that for clay and waterlogged soil it's better to go Hornbeam?

4) How sparse will Hornbeam tend to get in winter? I understand it loses some leaves so wondered how it would look as a pleached hedge in winter and whether it would still be a good privacy screen?

Any advice is appreciated!

Many thanks  :)


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    Photinias need warmth and fair amount of sun to grow well. They also don't do well in windy areas. Hornbeams can grow sparse when they get beyond 2 meters in height even if you prune, they can lose their leaves in the winter time. 

    Take a look at Elaeagnus x Ebbingei, they don't lose their leaves and are more forgiving with sun and shade. Provided you have prepared your soil well, they will establish on clay-based soils.
  • JasonLeeJasonLee WarwickshirePosts: 2
    Thanks Borderline. Good advice.
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