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Beech hedge help!

minbanminban Posts: 2
Hi there,

I’m wondering if anyone can help. I’m very new to gardening. This is out beech hedge between my neighbour and I. It’s very sparse from where it’s been previously cut. Will this fill out a bit more after some time? Is the ivy effecting the growth? And is there anything I can do to help it grow back a bit quicker.

Thanks in advance. 🙂


  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,647
    Difficult as our beech hedge has been kept to a good size over the years and never been allowed to grow up into tree size.
    You will need to search on how to get your "trees" back into a good hedge.
    So many sites and too many to suggest.
  • I fear the answer to this is no—as with a beech hedge you need to trim from early on to get them to bush out with new growth from the base, which is what makes them opaque. There’s a risk that cutting them hard back now would kill them rather than inducing shoots low down.

    There are a few possible options though. One is to add some young plants at the base on your side that will colonise the open spaces. But the disadvantage is that it will encroach on your side into the garden. Also it may be hard to do this with young beech plants and get them to bush out well at the base. But I have seen people add holly, yew and Lonicera nitida for this purpose, which fills in the gap with evergreen foliage. 

    An alternative would be to plant an ornamental shrub in front of the gap. It will have to be shade tolerant because of the tree, but things like box and Aucuba should work there.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    When we came here - 30 years ago, our beech hedge was badly neglected, though not quite so bad as yours. We cleared the base of ivy and other weeds and reduced the height a bit at a time, over about 5 years, trimming the sides to shape as we went. It's beautiful now, full of leaf and vigour. We didn't have really big gaps and I am not sure how you may tackle those.
  • minbanminban Posts: 2
    Thank for your replies @bertrand-mabel and @Cambridgerose12 . @Posy I feel the picture attached isn’t a very good one and the Rowan tree in the way doesn’t help. The other photos were too large to attach. The hedge itself is very long and as my garden is sloped down and the neighbours garden isn’t - the hedge is taller in some areas, however the height here is not even 6ft. It has been well cared for over the years from both sides (we bought the house from my family last year) but is sparse in some areas - I think the last cut may have been too severe. Hoping to clear the ivy and see what else we can do to help it. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,834
    Given all that has been said above which I agree with, in your position I’d clear the ivy and any leaf litter etc at the base of the hedge ... feed with fish blood and bone, water it in well and cross my fingers. Cant do any harm and might do some good 🤞 

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

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