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Replacing a leylandii hedge


This is my first post and I'm hoping that someone, somewhere may be able to assist with our dilemma.

Our house sits on a hill above a relatively busy road which is currently screened by a fairly scruffy looking leylandii "hedge".  It's seen better days and we're keen to replace but the siting of the hedge, the height required, congenital laziness and budgetary pressures aren't producing an easy answer.

The hedge sits atop a 15ft sandstone wall and runs east-west for around 40m.  Given the location, I'm not keen for anything with the kind of root system that will push the wall apart and dump sandstone blocks onto unsuspecting motorists.

We're in the High Weald so the soil is fairly moist yet free draining.

Yew would be first choice but cost means we'd be buying relatively small plants and am concerned at the amount of time it would take to establish itself to the kind of height required.  We do have the ability to nurture the saplings elsewhere and transfer once they've reached a serviceable size but I'm not sure how easily they transplant.  Holly, rhodies and blackthorn also appeal but would consider anything other than the elder, bramble and leylandii jungle we currently have. 

Any advice or food for thought very gratefully received.


  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Hello invictaimage May we see a photo? It would help in giving advice. Just click on the little tree icon and upload.

    My favourite hedge is beech, but it may not be appropriate. There is a website completely devoted to hedging plants, you may find this useful.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,913

    Oooh a substantial holly hedge - what a lovely thought image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Invicta72Invicta72 Posts: 3

    Here a couple of snaps... one from roadside which shows the full horror and one from houseside showing showing how well yew can do!





  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    How about a wildlife hedge, a mixture of hedging plants and is easy to care for?

    See link.

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,693

    Hello Invicta. I would go gently and think about doing it in stages. Taking out a structure like that in one go might prove quite a shock to the system. You will certainly notice more noise from the road for a start.

    Evergreens would give you a year-round screen. Laurels are very quick growers, too much so for most situations, and can be very dense so they would cut down some of the noise.  They also flower and their flowers have a delicious scent. You could remove the dreariest of the cupressus trees and replace them with laurels. Then, when you have had a chance to accustom yourself to the change, you could go on to add a few hollies here and there. They aren't as vigorous but will add some variety, especially if you use the variegated type.

    Good luck!

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

    I agree with pansyface about doing it in bits.

    It won't be an easy place to maintain as a clipped hedge. A row, or staggered double row of mixed planting would give you something for all the year

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Invicta72Invicta72 Posts: 3
    Thanks all. We've discounted laurel due to its habit of getting very big very quickly and, as noted, tending the roadside of the hedge means we don't have to go base jumping to get our kicks.

    Think I'll follow the advice to gradually fill in with replacements. Holly, blackthorn (for gin) and yews I reckon.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

    Sounds good to meimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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