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Thin Hornbeam Hedge Pruning Advice

I am a novice gardener.

Planted some bear root hornbeam plants at the begging of the year.  I have had to space them out to get around stumps from the old conifer hedge.

Since planting I have not done much but water them.

How can I thicken up the hedge, and how brutal should I be with pruning?

I note people suggest cutting back to just above a leaf or stem node, how can these be identified?


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Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,313
    It'll take until next year to be established. Just needs time. 

    You could nip the tops out though. Take roughly a foot off [30cm] and to where there are leaf joints, which is where the foliage is coming out of the main stem  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 288
    Why does everyone want results NOW .Have some patience for goodness sake .
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,999
    Yes it might seem counter intuitive,  but cutting back will stimulate growth, and especially side shoots which will thicken it up.
    AB Still learning

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,425
    edited August 2021
    Don’t think the OP is expecting a thick hedge just yet @bcpathome  … they just recognise there are techniques to follow that will result in a better hedge later on than just ignoring it would do … and very sensibly have asked for advice. @Fairygirl has given it. All is well. 
    😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 288
    Ok
  • Completely agree that time will be your friend. They need time to root in before they can put on lots of growth. When you prune you basically promote bushing out. You can speed up the thickening process by planting close together but just taking the top leader out will help.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,313
    First line of the OP's post
    "I am a novice gardener."

    There's no need to be rude when people are simply asking for advice. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Forester_PeteForester_Pete DevonPosts: 140
    edited August 2021
    This is a two year old hornbeam hedge. Coming along nicely I think although could do with mulching around the base. Another growing season will see yours more hedge like.
  • IHateWeedingIHateWeeding Posts: 49
    edited August 2021
    Thanks for the advice, paranoid I will kill the plants if I over prune or cut in the wrong place.

    I am seeing lots of variability in height so I may even out and leave the shorter ones till next year? 

    So from your advice, I think I will prune off the top of the tallest plants (up to 30 cm) and some of the more wayward side shoots. 

    Cut above where the foliage is coming out of the main stem, as fairygirl suggests.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,425
    There's a very old gardening saying which goes 'Growth follows the knife' ... this means that pruning stimulates growth, so although it may seem counter intuitive, don't leave the shorter ones out of the pruning ... it'll give them a little encouragement to grow.   :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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