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Pleached hedging advice

I would like to create a pleached hedge as a divider in my garden. Lime is obviously the classical specimen for pleaching but a classical lime is a big tree, not a hedge. Does anyone know of a dwarf variety or have experience using lime as a hedge. I am also keen to hear other suggestions for pleached hedging. We live in Yorkshire so it gets cold and frosty but our soil is good (pH 6.5). Ideally I would like it about 2m tall and it would extend a length of 6m or so. Any help welcome. Thanks. 


  • The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland has some beautiful  pleached Hornbeam hedging and it looked great without it's leaves when we visited on a March day with snow underfoot. Lime trees can leave sticky deposits on the ground so are not ideal for gardens. Good luck!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,367

    Hornbeam is ideal as felixstowe gardener says. Beautiful for any type of hedging. It will take a fair bit of time and effort to achieve though. Good luck with it if you decide to go ahead.image

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

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,524

    The whole point of pleaching is that the plants are pruned and trained to shape. You'll need a support structure until the stems and horizontal branches become established but once they harden up you can take that down.   You'll need to do at least an annual pruning and training session to maintain it.   You'll also need to prepare the ground well to make sure that the chosen plants stay healthy.

    Hornbeam makes a lovely pleached hedge but I've also seen it done with catalpa and beech.  There was a lovely one at Chelsea with copper foliage.


     See these articles for some hints -


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • thanks everyone for your help. I had wondered about hornbeam which I love - it is quite a project but one which I think would be worth it - creating a real feature in the garden. The Chelsea one in copper beech looks fantastic too - the other plants I had wondered about were a mixture of purple and green beech. Reassuring to know that the Hornbeam looked good even without its leaves on. I will let you know how I get on. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,524

    Hornbeam is the plant to use in heavy or damp soils and the size and crinkle of its foliage lends itself well to close pruning which a pleached hedge will have.  Beech prefers lighter soils and good drainage but with some moisture retention so not poor, sandy soils.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I have just had some pleached evergreen oak planted and wanted some advice as to the best plants to plant beneath them?  The bed will get a good amount of sun so shade os not the issue - rather what would not interfere with the rootballs of the trees.  Many thanks 
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