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Bare root hedge plants after 10 months. What next!

So, am looking for advice. Pictures below show three sections of Hornbeam hedge I planted as bare roots last winter. There is a marked difference in how well each section has grown. One seems to have done really well but the other two not so good. So, what do I do next and how can I help all three sections grow and establish. Out of 100 plants only about 6 or 7 didn’t grow at all which I will rectify this winter and isn’t a bad return, or is it!! Help.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,929
    I suspect the ones nearest to the tree are struggling due to the lack of water, the tree roots are probably getting the lion's share of any moisture. 

    I take it you've been giving them a good watering, especially over the last few months (l can see the hosepipe !). How much have they had, and do they all get a similar amount of light ?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942
    Next to, or under, an established tree will always be more difficult unless you're in a wet part of the country. Those will have needed a lot more water than more open areas. The grass is also competition for moisture. Hornbeam likes plenty of water anyway, and any new hedge will have needed a lot of extra watering this spring and summer, regardless of where you are. If the site wasn't well prepped - ie with plenty of manure/compost etc added, it will also take longer for the whips to establish. 
    They look a bit sparse though. They should be a bit more dense than that by now. Not much you can do about that apart from adding more organic matter regularly, but do it after they've been well soaked. You can do it over autumn and winter too, which will help.
    By next summer, they should have got better root systems and will be starting to thrive  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for the advice. Will give them some tic over the winter and see what happens next year!
  • cmarkrcmarkr Posts: 142
    I've had the same experience with beech, under a large yew they never leafed out, about 25 in a row, the other 70 did. Replaced them last winter and have watered more regularly but still not enough, about half haven't leafed out. I don't think hornbeam can have too much water so just keep watering as much as possible those that are struggling
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