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Can we build a fence tight to a hedge?

Hi. We are moving into a new house and part of the largish garden is fenced with 6x6 panels and the remainder bordered with a lowish hedge made of, we think, beech.

My question is if we put up fence panels as tight as we can against the hedge will it continue to grow and seriously damage the fence?

Apologies if this is a stupid question but memories of photosynthesis from O level biology and 25 years of gardeners question time have not equipped me with the knowledge to make my own mind up.

Thanks in advance for any advice.





  • this might sound a daft question, but why do you want a fence as opposed to a hedge?   If you need some sort of dog-proof boundary, for example, you could have some stock netting + associated posts.  The beech would soon grow through the netting and would look good all year round.  I have done this with a hawthorn hedge and now the posts/netting are hidden by the hedge itself.  Stock netting is made from strong galvanised wire in squares & rectangles & is about 3ft high.  I can't remember how many yards/metres you get per roll. I think it was designed to stop lambs escaping, & the way to fix it is so that the edge with the rectangles goes at ground level, with the edge with the squares (which are larger) at the top.  I know this sounds confusing, but the idea is that small animals can't get through easily - though cats & rabbits can.  I suppose very tiny/small toy dogs could too, but something like a Jack Russell terrier couldn't.


    You could put solid fence panels if you want to, but the "downside" of this may well be that the hedge gets less rainwater and less sunshine, and may grow more slowly as a result.  Another problem might be that when you paint/creosote the fence panels, the paint could affect the growth as well - creosote almost certainly would. 


    As with any new-ish hedge, it's important to see it doesn't dry out (no prob this past year!) and to use something in the way of fertiliser & mulch at least once a year, which will encourage growth.  My favourite hedge is a mix of beech & holly - looks really good all year round.

  • Thanks for the advice hypercharleyfarley.

    Part of it is indeed to dog-proof (border-collie) the garden. The second consideration is privacy. The neighbours at the end windows look straight into our garden and they have been maintaining the hedge at a lowish level which suits them but not us. A fence on our side, 2 metres or slightly less, would sort out both issues and would also complete the current run of fence panels along the entire border.

    Thanks again.



  • Hello again - a couple of things to bear in mind though:  do you know who is responsible for the boundary fence/hedge?  are there any restrictions ref height?  You should be able to find out via your solicitor/legal stuff/deeds etc. 


    For instance, if you have a plan of the plot, this is how to work out who's responsible.  They boundaries will  be shown as a line like this ________T__________ and the owner of the land on which the T falls is responsible for that boundary.


    Most new-ish properties carry restrictions as to the height of fences, hedges etc. & these should be indicated in any paperwork you have following the house purchase.  There's an "inside" and an "outside" for fences too - the convention is that you put any (visible) posts on the inside - e.g. as with close-boarded fencing.   If you do decide to put a fence up, I'd suggest you consider putting a horizontal board at ground level first & then put the panels on top of it.  This means that if there's a problem with wood rotting in future, you only need to replace the board & not the whole panel.

  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,471
    We have a 40ft rum of beech trees at our front , we have a 2 1/2 yr old lab (wanderers) and have farm stock type fencing in front , I just prune off beeches branches as required. Are you sure it's beech?

    My parents also have full side of beech and have secured with chicken wire any escape routes for lab to find .. (She found a couple before then ).image
  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,471
    Run not rum , 40 ft high that is is and prob same across .
  • We think the hedge is on the boundary but will obviously be putting up the fence on our side of it anyway. The hedge would look much nicer but the neighbours have been maintaining it at that level to give them an open view of what is now our garden so it will be much easier to just fence behind it. The house is 50 years old and the solicitor didn’t flag up any restrictions when we bought it so I presume it’s just standard planning restrictions (maximum 2m fence height at rear). Will definitely investigate putting a gravel board at the bottom of each panel to prevent rot which will have the added benefit of raising the height to just shy of 2m. Then I’ll borrow a Labrador and see if it or my collie can find an escape route. It is truly amazing the knack they have in this respect - it took Charlie less than 5 minutes of exploring to find a tiny gap to wriggle through!.
    Thanks so much for all your help and advice. It’s incredible how generous people are with time and knowledge on forums like this.

  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,471
    Steve , we hammered into the ground , attached fence then hammered stakes down further making it tight to the ground . If the ground is digging soil , have a test for roots etc. she has never got out of the front one just the sides with no beech image

    Once they find a gap they keep returning to itimage good luck. I shall send lab olive over for a security meetingimage
  • We have a leylandii hedge and new neighbours with two cute dogs. We are all exploring ways to dog-proof the border without taking down the hedge. I was wondering if chicken wire along the bottom might be the way to go...  

  • Hello Steve,

    I saw you posted your questionon Feb.16, So it's a few monthes ago.

    Did you solve your problem about Fence panels?

    Maybe I can give you some advice if you need.

    OK, hope your reply.

    Have a good day!

  • Hello,

    We are hoping to get a dog so need to dog proof garden, We currently have hedges with some old wire fencing in places. The hedges have grown up around the old wire fence making it difficult to fix, Any tips?

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