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First time hedgelaying

I'm about to undertake some hedgelaying... We have a line of overgrown old hawthorns - trunks about 4" diameter, no growth until a big thatch about 8' from the ground.
My local nurseryman told me it would be relatively easy and gave me a quick lesson. Question is, is this folly?!


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,380
    @richard_leader,  you've nothing to lose, hawthorn's pretty tough and you are unlikely to kill it so I'd say go for it.

    My OH and I tried to do it with hazel in our front hedge to thicken a bare patch, didn't get it quite right but it's still shooting out. 

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained!  
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    It's a skill, and everyone's got to start somewhere, so go for it! 
    There's got to be some videos of technique online to refer to if you need to. Take photos though! 👍
  • Just avoid using a chainsaw!  A bit of land near where I live had a line of old hawthorns, once field boundaries, and a group of volunteers were given permission to lay this old hedge.  Sadly they used chainsaws and the hedge was mostly destroyed. Willow sticks that were put in as supports have thrived.
  • I agree there must be videos of it, but certainly they have featured this on Countryfile. There's a hedge laying competition every year so they often show it. 
    I have never done it but I have a rough idea of what you should do.  You will need some stout stakes you can drive in as uprights to weave your layed branches into. Clean out any very thin side branches. Cut your main stems about 2/3rds the way through with a wedge shape cut and bend them down. Your uprights need to be about a yard appart, as this is a traditional technique,  then use the distance from your left shoulder to where you can comfortably reach to with you right hand (that is the old way of measuring a yard).  It's hard physically  good luck.
    AB Still learning

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