Heritage Grounds

A Guide to Pruning Hedges

All hedges require regular pruning to keep them tidy and within bounds. The more hedges are trimmed the denser and stronger they will become. All hedges should be trimmed at a slight angle, wider at the base instead of straight up and down. This allows light onto the lower branches which encourages new foliage growth low down, around the bottom of the hedge. The pruning of all evergreen hedges should take place during the warmer months beginning in the spring and completed by the end of summer/early autumn, before the ground and weather becomes cold.

Our guide to the successful pruning of hedges

Beech
Fagus sylvatica
Once or twice during the growing season and always at the end of summer

Box
Buxus sempervirens
Twice or three times during the growing season

Cherry laurel
Prunus laurocerasus
Twice during the growing season

Hawthorn
Crataegus monogyna
Once in the summer then again in the autumn

Holly
Ilex aquifolium
Once in late summer

Holm / evergreen oak
Quercus ilex
Twice during the growing season

Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus
Twice during the growing season and again at the end of summer

Japanese holly
Ilex crenata
Twice during the growing season, May and September

Lawson cypress
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Twice during the growing season

Leyland cypress
Cupressocyparis leylandii
Three times during the growing season

Native mixed hedges
See details below
Once in January or February

Photinia x fraseri โ€˜Red Robinโ€™
Photinia / Christmas berry
Once in the spring then again no later than mid-August

Portuguese laurel
Prunus lusitanica
Twice during the growing season

Privet โ€“ oval-leaf
Ligustrum ovalifolium
Twice or three times during the growing season

Privet โ€“ common
Ligustrum vulgare
Twice during the growing season

Western red cedar
Thuja plicata
Once in the spring then again at the end of summer

White cedar
Thuja occidentalis
Once in the spring then again at the end of summer

Yew
Taxus baccata
Twice during the growing season

Native mixed hedges

The winter months of January and February are the best times to trim a native hedge. This is because the nesting season has not begun, and enough time has been given for the fruit to be eaten. As with all hedges a native hedge should be trimmed at a slight angle, wider at the base instead of straight up and down. This provides more shelter for the wildlife and light onto the lower branches which encourages new spring foliage around the base of the hedge.

Our native hedging plants provide food and protection to a hidden world of creatures and wildlife and when planted as a creative mixture, produce an outstanding, beautiful hedge.

Plants included in our native hedge mixtures:

Acer campestre (Field maple)
Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)
Cornus sanguinea (Dogwood)
Corylus avellana (Hazel)
Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn)
Euonymus europaea (Spindle)
Fagus sylvatica (Beech)
Ilex aquifolium (Holly)
Ligustrum vulgaris (Common privet)
Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn or Sloe)
Rosa rugosa (Ramanas rose)
Viburnum opulus (Guelder rose)

Why plant a native hedge?

Native creatures show a preference for British native plants because they have evolved side by side for thousands of years. Many birds including blackbirds, robins, wren and thrushes use these hedges for nesting.

Native hedges produce flowers, fruit, nuts and seeds that attract many insects which in turn among others, attract predatory insects and birds which helps to create a healthy ecosystem ensuring a natural balance within the garden. They provide important safe havens for birds, butterflies, moths and small mammals. You may even find toads, hedgehogs and voles hibernating, so planting a native hedge is one of the best things you can do to increase biodiversity in your garden.

Our professional planting teams consist of the most experienced people available in the UK to carry out the safe handling and planting of large trees, fine topiary pieces and instant hedges.

Alan Jones - Operations Director