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Cut back Leylandii hedge - ideas to cover it?

Hey all, 

Last year we had an eager tree surgeon who cut back the leylandii hedge by a foot taking all the green with it, instead of just trimming (crossed wires)

We've since built a 6ft fence to protect our children from the bare branches but we now have about 3ft of ugly bare branch above it. The hedge runs for about 30ft.

Any ideas what to do to cover it in the short term? We don't necessarily want to extend the fence any more.



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    Joking apart - the only thing you can really do for the long term is plant a climber and train it across. You'd have to prep a space well for it and then spend some time encouraging it across though. It would also need something to climb up the fence to get it started.
    Or, you could attach trellis to the fence, perhaps painted a dark green or similar, which could disguise the bare conifer branches and stems.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Do you know the leylandii will never regrow where the bare wood is? 
    This is a big problem with conifers, it looks as if the trees were planted much too close to the fence. Developers used them as boundary trees because they grow so quickly, 6/12 ft per year. As the trees are not on your property there is not much you can do with them and it will be difficult to grow anything along the fence because the tree roots are taking all the moisture and nutrients from the soil. I think I would put a lattice trellis along the top of the fence and maybe grow annual climbers on them for some colour. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    The fence was put in after the leylandii was cut back  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,586
    Yep, I'd agree with the trellis and climber suggestions - some are very fast growing and will start covering the space in the first year - you might even encourage birds to nest in there once there's a screen. 
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 834
    Another agreement with the trellis/climbers suggestions!

    But I’d like to add, paint the fence black, it will make it visually disappear rather than drawing attention to the area, and would be the perfect backdrop to any climbing plants
  • @zugenie Certainly looks good in your garden!
     Retired Gardener, new build garden, clay soil, South Notts.

    The more I garden the less I know but the more pleasure I get from it. Monty Don 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    I use black for my fences etc, but  the green I mentioned might be a little brighter considering the hedging all round, and the lack of planting to offset it. I find some of the greens too bright though, so I mix a tiny bit of black into it and that brings it down to a more subtle shade.
    The other alternative is to make it all a brighter colour and have it as a feature, with the climbers providing a bit of contrast to soften it.

    Could easily work both ways though - depends on preference  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,494
    I'd paint the fence black, add a trellis, also painted black, create a bed in front of the fence with enriched soil and grow a mix of climbers.  A lighter or brighter colour would make the fence a feature and draw attention to the bare trunks above it!  It took me three different fence colour changes to realise this!  My fence hides the lower part of my neighbour's monster laurel hedge and bare trunked, decapitated conifer (yes, I hate it!). The fence has previously been dark green and a grey/beige. The black seems to make the fence retreat and make the greens more vibrant.

    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Thanks so much everyone for those excellent suggestions.

    I think painting the fence black is a good idea, I'm not entirely sure there's room for a trellis on top of the fence due to the intertwined branches from the leylandii, they're very close to the fence. 

    Can anyone suggest some fast growing evergreen climbers to get us started? Appreciate it. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,891
    Be aware that 'fast growing' isn't always a good idea. They don't conveniently stop growing   ;)
    Some honeysuckles are evergreen, and are perfectly suited to growing through hedging. You'd only need one or two for that size/length of fence.
    If you prefer, you could use a clematis along with one h'suckle. That would give you a different flowering season. Not many are evergreen. C. armandii might suit the space, but that isn't particularly hardy everywhere in the country. There are some winter flowering ones but again, they don't do well everywhere, and need a reasonably sunny shelterd site.  :)
    You'll need supports on the fence so that you can train stems horizontally as well as vertically, otherwise you won't get good coverage. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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