How to lay a hawthorn hedge

Written by cathy pelekakis
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When thinking of creating a natural boundary line between two properties, hedges have always been a good choice. Hedges are still used for security, marking ownership, or dividing areas within it. Hedges can add habitat diversity to a site without affecting its overall natural development. Hedges of hawthorn, blackthorn, beech, hornbeam and other species can be maintained for many years.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Protective clothing
  • Shoes
  • Gloves
  • Shovels
  • Netting
  • Herbicides
  • Hedges

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  1. 1

    Ensure that proper equipment and clothing are utilised. Use gloves, pruning shears, shovels and protective clothing for your security.

  2. 2

    Decide where you want to lay down the hedge. Map out the area and assure that there is plenty of space for the hedge.

  3. 3

    Prepare the ground that the hedge is to be placed in. Remove the existing grass or other vegetation. Use of a herbicide can accomplish the removal of vegetation. The area may also be ploughed to enable the planting of the Hawthorne hedge.

  4. 4

    Planting of the hedge should be accomplished while the plants are not in leaf, from October through March. The Hawthorne hedge should be planted in a double staggered row, however where space and funds may be limited it is OK to plant them in a single row.

  5. 5

    The creation of a well-drained bank will assist the growth of hedge plants.

  6. 6

    Protective netting, rabbit netting and individual spiral guards may be used to protect the young Hawthorne. Ensure that the base of the hedge is weed free; this can be accomplished by hand weeding or by using herbicides.

  7. 7

    The hedge should be allowed to grow to 8 feet in height with main stems 2 to 4 inches thick at the base. If the stems are larger than 8 inches, they should be pruned away.

Tips and warnings

  • A hedge that is properly maintained can last for up to 50 years before it starts to thin at the base.
  • Wear protective clothing and use the appropriate equipment to lay the hedge.

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