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Author Topic: Hedging plants for under trees  (Read 398 times)

edstrong

  • Joined Jun 2015
Hedging plants for under trees
« on: November 04, 2020, 06:13:12 pm »
We have some gaps in hedges beneath some large oak trees, probably due to the shade and the dry soil. Any suggestions for native whips to put in the gaps? Where the gaps are it's mainly blackthorn and hawthorn so those don't seem to be suitable.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hedging plants for under trees
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2020, 06:45:43 pm »
According to the Trees Please website, hornbeam is shade tolerant, as are hazel and holly.  Holly is evergreen of course; hazel is deciduous, hornbeam is too but will often retain its leaves for much of the winter (like beech) if trimmed and not in an exposed site.  Yew is shade tolerant as well, but is toxic to livestock so no good if there are or might ever be animals either side.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hedging plants for under trees
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2020, 12:21:09 am »
As you say,the problem is not only the shade from the oak but the dryness underneath it.  In the past, oaks in hedgerows were kept pollarded so the hedgeline was not broken by shading out. If hawthorn won't grow then I can't think of anything much that will.  It's very difficult to get new whips to grow in an established hedgerow, let alone under an oak - from the oaks point of view the whole reason it spreads is to overcome the opposition.  Try some hornbeam, although we use it specifically in damp areas as it is known to be damp tolerant, and some hawthorn, but water them for at least the first year until they are established, especially when the oak is bearing leaves.  Elder might well grow, but it's just as bad in a hedge as the spreading oak is.   To give your whips more of a chance, cut back any surviving hedgeplants to a similar height to the whips.   :tree: :tree: :tree: :tree: :tree:


Another thought:  How old are the oaks?  If they are not completely mature you could 'lift the crown', which just means removing some of the lower branches which would allow more light in.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 12:23:51 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Hedging plants for under trees
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2020, 02:27:13 am »
Perhaps time to consider fill-in fences, designed to become a full-on fence in due course, as the oaks grow to be ever more dominant/selfish in capturing available light/moisture, thereby out-competing any underlying hedge ??   


Of course there is holly !  Obviously it is pretty shade tolerant and, from what I can tell, is pretty tolerant of most soil conditions.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 02:34:10 am by arobwk »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Hedging plants for under trees
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2020, 11:41:06 am »
Perhaps time to consider fill-in fences, designed to become a full-on fence in due course, as the oaks grow to be ever more dominant/selfish in capturing available light/moisture, thereby out-competing any underlying hedge ??   


Of course there is holly !  Obviously it is pretty shade tolerant and, from what I can tell, is pretty tolerant of most soil conditions.


Everything in nature, with few exceptions, is 'selfish' - the ones that do it best are the successful species.  The human innate sense of guilt tells us that selfish is wrong, but for the rest of nature it's the way to go  ;D
Yes, hollies could work if you can get them established by supplying water (that's the key).  Hollies do not like very soggy ground so perhaps dry ground is OK for them, once they are established.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Hedging plants for under trees
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2020, 05:11:29 pm »
We infilled a gappy hedge under trees last winter with holly and I would recommend them. They cope well with v dry soil. I did water weekly when dry over summer and they have all grown well.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Hedging plants for under trees
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2020, 07:57:43 am »
My thought is also holly and watering in dry spells. At least being evergreen it can get a bit of growth done in spring and autumn end of the summer.

 

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