Is my hedge alive or not?

Hello image I planted a mixed beech/hazel/cherry bare root hedge back in November and by February it still looked exactly the same and after explaining that the soil is very rocky and we could only sow the hedges by using a stake and hammer to make holes and backfilling with compost - the general consensus on another fourm was that it was probably dead. Well since then all of the cherrys have all started sprouting plenty of leaves but the beech and hazel still look exactly the same - except for one of them that seems to be unravelling some buds. What do you think? Would all the cherries be alright if the soil and planting method was unsuitable? How can I check if it's alive or not? Also, the cherries look like they'll become trees if left to their own devices so at some point I'm going to have to lop the top off so it branches out, but when should I do this and how much can I take off? Thanks


  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Bare-rooted trees do appear dead until the buds swell, and they sprout leaves. You wouldn't expect to see anything at all happening throughout the Winter.

    Different species of tree will come into leaf at different times.

    If other hazel and beech trees in your vicinity are in leaf, and yours are not, then that might be ominous. Otherwise its worth waiting a bit.

    I'm in Warwickshire and a number of trees have still not yet come into leaf, although the buds are swelling.

    If you scratch one of the branches (with your thumbnail) and the tree is alive then the branch should appear green just beneath the bark.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Hello again, Louise. Beech hedges should be starting to move around about now, so it's not too late yet.

    Cherry - that wants to be pruned in summer, so June-August, and make sure that the weather is dry at the time. Take off about a max of a third of the height of your plants in the first year.

Sign In or Register to comment.