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How to Plant a Conifer Hedge

Conifer shrubs, like coniferous trees, stay green year-round. When planted close together, they grow towards each other and create a thick wall of branches, forming a hedge. A hedge is used to give privacy to yards in lieu of a fence. Hedges can also be placed in various locations around a back or front yard to separate it into different sections. Planting a conifer hedge can be relatively simple, yet labour intense, since mostly-grown conifer trees and shrubs tend to be heavy. The best conifers to use are the various low-growing types of yew and arbor vitae.

Dig up any grass, weeds or other debris from the section of your yard that the conifer hedge row will be located in.

Measure out and prepare the fertiliser. Mix it into the soil where the row of shrubs will be planted by placing it on top of the ground and turning the soil three to four times with your shovel.

Remove the canvas from the root balls of each shrub, and lay them sideways on the ground 12 to 18 inches apart. Untangle as many roots as possible with your hands. Trim any circular roots that refuse to be untangled.

Measure the root ball of each shrub both in length and width. Dig a hole in the ground for the first hedge that is four times larger than the root ball, ensuring that it is deep enough and wide enough to hold the entire root system. Place the shrub in the centre of the hole, and cover the roots with soil.

Move to the next shrub, and repeat until all of the shrubs are planted.

Water your new hedge thoroughly. Check the soil after watering by sticking your index finger into it. If it sinks in approximately 1 inch, then the shrubs have a sufficient amount of water. If not, give them additional water.

Spread a 1-inch layer of mulch over the ground around your newly-planted row of shrubs. Be sure to keep it 2 to 3 inches away from the trunk of each shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic fertiliser - 1 tbsp per hedge
  • Garden clippers
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Mulch
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About the Author

Amanda Hevener has been a freelance writer and photographer since 2006. She is a member of the Akron Press Club. Her writing has appeared on SeededBuzz, Swords.com, Baseball Fandom and Deep Left Field. She reviews restaurants for AltOhio and other websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Ashland University.