Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: New hedging project.  (Read 7717 times)

northern crofter

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Black isle
New hedging project.
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:11:46 am »
Hello all,
I am in the process of looking at the best options for introducing a new hedge to two boundaries of my field (appx 300m in total) with the following purposes in mind.
[1] Must be as inexpensive as poss
[2] Suitable to have with Horses & sheep in the field
[3] Ideally quick to establish

Any info or hints on best practice would be appreciated, along with reliable suppliers. :thumbsup:

bloomer

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 10:16:29 am »
use willow, plant in 3 deep rows...


you need to keep the sheeps and horses clear [size=78%] [/size][/size][size=78%](electric fence will work fine)[/size][/size][size=78%] [/size][/size] whilst it gets going then yay!!![size=78%]


very wind proof, grows quickly, easy to establish, livestock friendly!!!




shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 10:40:40 am »
dont buy poplars - ours grew fantastically but after 4 years are all snapping off at 3ft high.
roses are lovely, willows are good, its just livestock will eat them if not protected.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 11:38:44 am »
We have done quite a length of mixed hedging since we came here 18 years ago, so now hedges surround our land entirely.  We plant a double or triple row of bareroot plants and we do 50 or 100 metres in a go, to keep the cost manageable each year.  The bareroots do cost, 1 for 2-4, depending on the species, although if you use the tiniest size they're not bad, certainly better than those grown in RootTrainers.
 
We use hawthorn (quickthorn) for the outer row, then a mix of 50% hawthorn, hornbeam, beech, hazel, field maple, with the odd holly, rose, rowan, honeysuckle, oak, crab apple, wild cherry and so on mixed in.  This gives a lovely tapestry effect and has wildlife value for various birds and critturs.
 
Initially we tried planting without protecting from sheep and next door's cattle - a total waste of money, time and effort, as even when the plants survived the ravages, they never did well.  So now we use double sheep mesh fencing, with the hedge sandwiched between, and the cattle side with an extra top wire so they can't quite reach the plants.
 
Because we don't use chemicals, we haven't been able to keep the weeds down, but if you are happy to use a weedkiller around the base of your new hedgerow it will establish much more quickly.  Where we are it's very windy, wet and cold so it has taken at least 7 years for our hedge plants to get their roots down, then they romp away.  Somewhere with a less windy climate would establish much more quickly.  If you're on the Outer Isles you will struggle to establish a hedge at all, so gorse is about the best option there.
 
We grow lots of willow in a series of three parallel windbreaks to protect our polytunnel and coppice, but I wouldn't use them for a march boundary as they are not long-lived, nor would I mix them in with normal hedgerow species as they will dominate initially then die back leaving gaps.  Elder does this too.
 
For us the biggest cost is the fencing, although my OH does all the work, but the materials are costly.  We have found that it's not worth skimping on the fences and we put up sturdy stob and mesh fences all around.  Animals will still stretch across - it's amazing how long a sheep's neck can be - or push through an electric fence.  It is utterly disheartening when the new hedge you've planted and ,lovingly tended disappears overnight when next door's cattle have reached over and pulled the lot out by the roots  :(
 
For maintenance, you can choose to trim or to lay, or a mixture of both.  Laying is to thicken the lower part of the hedge to prevent animals pushing through.  You let the plants grow tall, but keep the sides in check, then when the trunks have reached a certain size they are ready to be laid.  You only need to lay a hedge once the bottom has started to die out.  The rest of the time, keep the hedge pruned, preferably in an 'A' shape to allow the maximum sunlight to reach the bottom.  To reach your initial desired height, trim the top every year, but allowing it to be a few inches taller each time - this will keep it dense.
 
I will try to remember to post some pics of our hedges then and now.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 11:40:35 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 12:39:37 pm »
If you can clear the weeds then altho growth has been slower we have found on our windy hillside that the weeds do give the hedge saplings quite a lot of support in the gales, so not all bad. But we also have fenced them off from sheep , altho low cost way with thin stakes ( tree stakes!) and stock net with proper posts only at each end of the run, this works as there's a beefy wall or fence behind, and also we take the sheep away before they have quite finished the grass so there isn't too much pushing.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 12:51:45 pm »
we lined the ground with black plastic sheeting (you can buy long rolls of it) and they kept the weeds down although they grew on the soil we weighed the plastic down with - they didnt compete for nutrients with the hedging plants.

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 08:30:48 pm »
Fleecewife - thank you for the brilliant explanation. It's encouraging to us just starting out to hear how others have already gone about things.  It would be great to see the before and after photos if you have time.
thank you

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 09:25:41 pm »
It would be great to see the before and after photos if you have time.
thank you

i can post a phot of my broken poplars before i cut them down tomorrow  :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:

northern crofter

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Black isle
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 10:55:01 pm »
Cheers for all the replies so far, very helpful.
It is going to be a fair undertaking so I want to make sure I get it right (as much as possible). Quickthorn mix is looking favourite at the moment, but the timing is another issue for planting. Apparently November(ish) is the ideal time to plant while the plants are dormant but in the early spring we are going to be cultivating the whole field where the hedge is going to go, this will involve round-up 1st of all.
Obviously I don't want to ruin an expensive newly planted hedgerow so how would I go about protecting it sufficiently from the weedkiller?
Could I leave it until late spring to plant the hedge whips, along with the new grass seed?

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2013, 11:27:21 am »
i think april is the planting cut off. weedkiller will kill it stone dead.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2013, 12:34:30 pm »
Wow, lots of good information here, need to plant some more here so good for me too.
We planted some quite few years ago round one field, a double staggered row, hawthorn, holly (rabbits killed that by eating the bark this last winter), crab apple (didn't survive) some sort of small plum (was supposed to be blackthorn, but small red+yellow plums= fantastic jam). stuck some sycamore self seeded in, (keep cut back - lovely foliage). a few fir trees for winter wintbreak for polytunnel, dog roses but they are spreading out into the field, quite  a nuisance. and a few beech.+ I stuck a few gooseberry cuttings in. Also some Ash, but I keep that cut down (coppiced?)so it doesn't seed, Overall it's the plums and Hawthorn that dominate.
We just put spirals round to protect them early on, but since put tubes round some (later planting). Ours are between a drystone wall and sheep netting, fronted by 1 strand electric fence keeps goats off. seems to works with sheep just after shearing, not sure how long they'll remember?
Keeping weeds down - local tree group put newspaper, topped with square of hessian dug in at the corners (slit in middle for sapling+cane), we use same or newspaper/cardboard/(old feed sacks?) with old hay etc to hold it down. certainly worth buying either spirals or tubes. The hessian is old coffee sacks, sold in 50s in Halifax, presume they will be available in other places.
And as Fleecewife suggests - don't try to do too much at once, first lot we bought lots of saplings but didn't get them all in quick enough, some that we planted last didn't do too well. Think about the time you will have spare to plant - it's amazing how life's little problems get in the way!
I also like sprouting apple pips - should start fruiting these next few years -  :yum: ? the blossom is nice anyway.
I also have a hedge of Buddlia where the animals can't get to - alive with butterflies a couple of weeks ago :) .
For the last lot we used Alba Trees, East Lothian, because the tree group included them with their order, but they are dearer than bare root, being cell grown. I'll be looking on the internet at different suppliers shortly (thanks for the reminder- :thumbsup: )
Sorry about the essay !
CAN anyone recommend a bare root supplier?
 

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2013, 03:22:01 pm »
The small red and yellow plum thing like blackthorn is Mirabel  :yum:   It grows into quite a sturdy tree so keep an eye on its size.
 
 
Bare roots come from Buckingham Nurseries but we don't buy from them any more - long story.  Nothing wrong with their hedge plants though.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 03:26:07 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2013, 06:07:49 pm »
very well said fleecewife I'm thinking of some hedging my self i have rows off Christmas trees 2 and 3 in rows off over 100 in length for wind brake mostly inc rowans but i would like some hawthorn round the house .

Brandi

  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 11:49:30 pm »
We found that canes, protective guards and mulch proved essential to ensure survival of our hedge planted as very small plants, sticks almost in February 2011.

It is now established and growing steadily which is quite a feat in an unsheltered position at 1000 feet. We planted a variety of hedging plants including hawthorn, dogwood, crabtree etc... With holly and rowan trees at intervals. It's lovely to see them growing. Best of luck :wave: :wave:

RaspberryRose

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: New hedging project.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 05:32:32 pm »
Sorry to butt in.  I am sure that I have read somewhere that a grant can be obtained for planting new hedgerows.  Anyone know if this is the case or if I was just dreaming it?  :D

 

Hedging?

Started by Baois Glas (7.67)

Replies: 7
Views: 4851
Last post February 20, 2015, 04:07:38 pm
by spandit
Hedging Waste

Started by cwmearl (7.58)

Replies: 3
Views: 2533
Last post February 20, 2013, 08:34:16 am
by cwmearl
Hedging ordered

Started by spandit (7.58)

Replies: 0
Views: 2113
Last post January 01, 2014, 12:56:51 pm
by spandit
Hedging grant GYO?

Started by Penninehillbilly (7.58)

Replies: 6
Views: 2194
Last post September 01, 2021, 04:38:36 pm
by doganjo
Hedging/wind break

Started by pikilily (7.5)

Replies: 21
Views: 11849
Last post February 12, 2012, 09:53:49 am
by pikilily

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2023. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS