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hornbeam hedge questions

Deano37Deano37 Posts: 14

Hellow every one I am new on here , I am relativly new and inexperienced gardener with a few questions,  I have an ok sized front garden not huge its 9m to the culdesak road and 4.5 across then goes onto my driveway I like privacy and at the minute the frint garden is totally open, well I lie it has 2 conifers that I am going to chop down as I hate them , over the last 3 years they have got a lot bigger and blocking the light etc, at the minute apart from paved driveway the garden is just the conifers and grass, I want to put a hedge around the edges upto my drive so along the border fence and across the front were currently cars often park and there wheels end up slightly on my grass.


I was origionally thinking beech but after looking more into it I want hornbeam which seems slightly easier and I have thick soil here, I am wondering how wide they grow and how far from border fence do I plant ? I will keep pruned on the sides 2 times a year and read not to cut until at desired height which I am not sure I want maybejust above head height or waist height ? So mainly can these be kept not too wide as dont want to loose loads of garden and how thick should I plant 30cm apart etc?




Lastly I will be purchasing bare root plants 60-90CM (Were is cheapest to order from)should I hold up with canes also I will dig trench 1 spade depth but how wide ? and add bonemeal and compost does this sound ok and any help or information is greatly appreciated 


Thanks again for taking time to read and sorry if this has been asked before just want to get into gardening and have it lush in future but want this hedge to be a start







  • CharleyDCharleyD Posts: 440

    Hi Dean

    I planted a hornbeam hedge last November - it's about 21 metres long.  I got them bare root from Parkers:-

    They're very reasonable and were great plants.  The hedge has settled well.  I planted it about 50/75cm away from the fence and allowed another 50cm the other side.  I didn't support them and they've been fine apart from one, which I'll support before winter sets in just to encourage it to grow straight.  I just dug a trench in what was well dug out soil in the first place (so it was fairly lose and I'd added manure and grit because it's a wet area) just big enough to fit the plants in.  I think the main concern is to ensure that you cover all of the roots.  Give them a mulch once planted to protect them from the winter weather and you should be fine image

    Hope it goes well for you.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,236

    Hi Dean, hornbeam makes a terrific hedge and copes with wet ground better than beech, otherwise it's very similar in appearance and habit. It'll retain it's leaves over winter if kept under about 8/10 feet. Prepare the ground well -  adding grit and manure and mulch well as Charley has mentioned, add your compost etc when you plant and it'll  get off to a good start.  Keep a good clear border between it and the grass and keep it weed free. It usually only needs trimming once a year but it's very adaptable. You can plant about 18" apart - closer if you want a really dense hedge and you can keep it quite narrow if you want - Charley has planted appropriately to make a really good depth of hedge but it will stand being kept narrower too, unlike some hedge plants.

    I've used Hopes Grove nursery a few times - you'll find them online - and they've been excellent. Might be worth just googling bare root hedging and comparing a few to see what suits you best, but personal recommendations are always a good start  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • We have a hornbeam hedge here (it was already well established when we arrived), it is a lovely hedge, works well for the setting and is easy to maintain.

    In the summer a perennial sweet pea appeared in it and worked up and through it with a lovely white flower which was a nice surprise. I might even add a couple more it looked so pretty. 

    Good luck and welcome to gardening.image

    "To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,017

    As has been said hornbeam makes a great formal hedge and it can be restricted to quite a narrow profile. 

    With all due respect to Mike, in my experience a mixed hawthorn and R. Rugosa hedge, although great for wildlife, will use much more width and require just as much if not more trimming as hornbeam. 

    As an example of hornbeam as a narrow and upright formal hedge, you can check out the way Monty Don used it to partition different areas of his garden image

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

  • Deano37Deano37 Posts: 14
    Thanks everyone for all the replies all very helpful, is there anyway to loads pictures from mobile phone onto here as a picture might help understand the size of the plot ? The hedge will only be around chest height or so, so will it be easy enough to keep at that height once it has been cut should then grow outwards, also if I make a border around were I want hedge around 75cm or so and plant the hedge directly in the middle will that be sufficient or would you take the plant out more so further away from neighbours fence ? Howanu should be planted per meter ? As said I want 60-90cm night plants and thanks for all recommendations will look when finish work tonight

    Thanks again , also I will show you all my back garden before and after, I moved into my house 3 years ago and was just decked with fences falling down but I love plants and greenery so ripped up, renewed fence (apart from neighbours fence on one side is a wall of conifers and getting far to high so need a chainsaw to chop to fence height) and I added in a lawn and Lloyd of plants into my railway sleeper planter but hopefully can get pictures up but my laptop is currently broken that's why using phone and tablet

    Thanks again dean
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,996

    Photo's dont work on actual iphones but others do. Mine is a lg works fine. Also I use android tablet, thats very quick and easy for photo's

    If you can see the tree icon on the toolbar at the top of the posting box you should be fine.

    Good luck with hornbeam hedge, whatever you decide I wouldnt go for the Rugosa, I have it, its li

    ke a weed, bits spring up all over the place. I am forever digging it out.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Deano37Deano37 Posts: 14

    Thanks for that I will get some pichures taken tomorro om my tablet to show were I want hedgeand get skme opinions


    Thanks dean

  • Deano37Deano37 Posts: 14

    Well as promised some pics firstly I will quickly show you my back garden very small mind my laptop is brocken so cannot show you before but was totally decked and rotten with no green at all and fence falling down,  I ripped up decking and replaced the fencing , layed down grass as have a 2 year old boy and a baby girl onway very soon I used railway sleepers for planting and got a lovely weepingwillow off my grandad along with hostas what I have not chopped to the ground and loads of other plants seems densely planted but wanted to get things going , used topsoil but no ferts etc thats why want to get into gardening a d learn the correct ways etc love being out and getting things done so eager to lern







    Next will now show you the offending front what I want to change 




  • Deano37Deano37 Posts: 14

    Ok now the front










     So was thinking of thing hedgeup the fence and around front of road and down a little to my drive you can see the drive with car on last pic but want a hedge chest height and to stop car going onto grass etc dont really want a fexoensiveOk fence and a lot more expensive aswel, then were the conifers are at the minute i will remove and grass over you can see were started emptying before brown bin gets empyed any opinions or advice welcome also advice on removing conifer stumps


    thanks again dean

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,996

    You have near enough blank canvas there Dean, which is good.

    The conifer will come out with a bit of work, they are quite shallow rooted, we took a row out in the winter, it will be messy but you can clear that up.

    We used an iron bar and a mattock, just keep digging the soil from around then hack, then use the bar. You can cut the roots with a big set of secateurs.

    Hornbeam hedge will be good down the fence side but if its open plan there may be a height restriction on the road frontage.

    Ask any questions you want, someone will know, there are a lot of very experienced gardeners on here.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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