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Allotment Hedging

Hi there

We obtained our allotment a year ago on the condition that we planted up a hedge along one side of it.  The time has now come image 

Now, we're really not convinced by this as it's meant to be for wind protection.  We haven't had a problem with the wind and there are some very large trees 30m away from that direction. One of our concerns was loss of light (we are already shaded by a large tree)... and they said it didn't have to be a high hedge - maybe 5ft.

The hedge would be planted along a 4ft stone wall... so in essence we are only going to be raising the wind barrier by a ft.

Anyway - we had agreed to this before we were able to get to know the plot.. so we don't have a choice - we just want to choose species that will be appropriate for this space and that we can manage appropriately. 

Ideally, for us, it would be a "formal native species" hedge - however I can't find ANY writing on this.. and wonder if it's just not possible. We want it to get no higher than 5ft and want to be able to keep it trimmed on the allotment side at least.  There's not enough room for it to get unruly.

We'd also like it to be productive - crab apples/cherries etc.

So - does anyone have any good ideas on what species that would respond well to being kept small and that will not become unmanageable. Any species to avoid?

All the native species seem to get very large and I don't know if any respond well to being kept small.  We were thinking of species such as blackthorn, dogrose, elm, guelderose.

Any advice would be really welcome - I'm really nervous about getting this right.  Thanks in advance!  image



  • Hi image

    Ive got a hedge running down the length of my garden, its mainly hawthorn, but has wild roses, ivy and all manner of bits and bobs growing through it, i dont look after it so it does get out of hand, but the beauty is it can be hacked back with no damage to the hedge, it could also be layered if you are clever enough to do not!image

    Ashridge trees are a good company ive used before, they do collections for hedging and give lots of advice.

    The wild life my hedge attracts is amazing, it benefits the garden no end!
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,953

    Does a row of espalier fruit trees count? image  The lattice method would block a good amount of the non-existent wind they are concerned about, but still give dappled light across the shadow.  

    I'd go for hawthorn otherwise.  Pretty flowers, good fruit, native, etc.  

    Utah, USA.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,158

    Hawthorn would be my choice as the main species. It cuts well to a hedge

    I would leave out blackthorn, it's painful and it suckers.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • What are these allotment authorities thinking of? They seem to come up with petty rules to justify their existence.

  • I'd go for a mixed native hedge - hawthorn, hazel, elder, spindle and crabapple. 

    I would keep the hawthorn topped at around the 5' height, coppice the hazel every 3-4  years (providing yourself with pea sticks and beanpoles) and allow the spindle, elder and crab apple to grow a bit taller so that they flower and fruit and attract pollinating insects.  You can cut them back individually when they get too tall, always leaving some to flower each year. 

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

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