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What to do.

25 years ago we unfortunately planted leylandii as property border edging at a cost of less than £100 for all the plants.

Since then what with hedge cutting, waste removal and repairing part of a drive due to root heave, we are probably looking at at least 2k over the years!

The trees are around 7 feet tall and have now reached the end of their lives as they are dying back.

The obvious problem we have is that we will be severely overlooked once the trees are removed and want to get some sort of privacy other than 6 foot interwoven panels as cosmetically they are not ideal.

overall the total length of hedging front and rear is aound125 feet.

Has anyone any suggestions, it would be great if some 5-6feet laurel or privet etc was available that could provide instant cover to an extent.

Hope someone can help, thanks in anticipation.



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    Hi Ian, I know it's always difficult when you remove something that's given privacy so you want 'instant', but the problem is, buying large specimens is almost always a waste of money. Smaller plants will establish better, and you'll find in a  couple of years they'll have caught up with, and probably overtaken the big ones. It's something that gets asked frequently here on the forum. image

    It's also coming up to bare root season, when you can buy hedging cheaply, assuming you want a new hedge. Bare root is very economic, especially when you have a long boundary to fill. If you take a look at some of the specialist online growers, you'll see how much variety there is. I've used Hopes Grove several times, but there are lots. 

    Alternatively, it's a fence of some kind and climbers to cover it, if you'd prefer that. Things like Clematis montana will cover a big expanse of fence fairly quickly once established. However, nothing will give instant privacy.

    I've also used Buddleia to get something quick growing along part of my boundary - they can be useful while other planting grows, and they don't need much care or attention. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,854

    You'll need to remove the stumps and put plenty of goodness back into the soil which will have been severely depleted by the leylandii.    That'll be quite a project in itself and needs doing before you plant anything new be it young bare root whips or mature specimens.

    Fairygirl is right about mature specimens.  They'll cost a fortune and take years of TLC to establish and grow away.   I suggest you have a look at plants like hawthorn or beech or hornbeam which can be planted as bare root whips in autumn.  You then cut them back to about 9" and water in well.   

    We did this with hawthorn and it grew 6' the next year.  We then cut it back by half to make it shoot sideways and thicken up.    It's great for wildlife too.    Copper beech will keep its dry leaves over winter and give extra privacy if you need it.  The old leaves finally fall as the new leaves start to shoot in spring.  Hornbeam is better for damper soils.   All 3 can be kept clipped to make a neat, dense hedge.

    Evergreens won't grow as fast but you could also consider pyracantha which has spring blossom and berries to attract a wide range of wildlife plus thorns to deter intruders.    Laurel is very dark and dull and looks awful if clipped with hedge trimmers as it has large leaves whose edges go brown when cut.   Photinia Red Robin makes a good hedge and has fresh red growth in spring and when it's been trimmed.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,527

    It may be 'common' but what about privet?

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,904

    ""I've used Hopes Grove several times, but there are lots.""

    Don't look Ethel...but it was tooooooo late, she'd already written her Autumn order image

    I had a 50ft long by about 12ft high leylandi hedge taken out about four years ago. We'd all put up with it for privacy thing ever. It was also about 6ft deep and the extra space and openness is fab!

    I had a 2m fence put up and my neighbours and I both covered it with climbers and once the newness died down it's hardly noticable. It's so much tidier and more manageable in a smmall/medium suburban garden.

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