Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows  (Read 1403 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« on: October 04, 2020, 11:30:25 pm »
Purpose : beauty, environmental, shelter for the livestock from sun (and flies) in summer, and from rain, wind and occasional snow in winter.

The idea would be to trim on a four-year cycle, one quarter of each length each year, so that there are always some older stems for wildlife and for shade / shelter, but we maintain the hedgerow within its bounds. 

After discovering that there is a whole scheme to reintroduce hedgerow trees, I guess we will have some trees being trees (probably pollarded, not least because it's so windy here) as well as the main hedge.

The ground is clay, and in some parts the soil is really not very deep (as it's slid down the hill over the years!)

The hedgerows will be stock-fenced where grazed (or electric fenced when stock are in), some will be open on the other side if not grazed, including alongside tracks that we use for moving animals.  But it's small numbers - 2 cows with calves, up to 20 sheep.  The cattle can be haltered if need be.

Some choices are obvious but I am looking for suggestions and advice / experiences, please.

I personally have a distinct anathema to non-native species, but it may be that we should consider one or two to meet specific requirements.  (Eg., evergreen to provide shelter in winter.)

The hedgerow


Hawthorn of course.

Blackthorn : NO, I am fed up of the damage the thorns do to sheep's feet.  We have plenty of hedgerows around here with it as the main ingredient, so we shan't be short of sloes ;)

Holly?  I would love there to be some sections that are evergreen so that there is a bit better protection for the sheep and ponies in winter.  (And I have read tonight that holly next to the trees which are allowed to be trees would be a good plan, as they are shade tolerant.)

Other evergreens you can suggest?  We aren't going to trim enough to do it with beech or hornbeam (they only keep their leaves on over winter if you trim religiously and closely every year, which doesn't sound like us at all  :P and it is hellish windy where most of these new hedgerows are going.)

Hazel - any cons?  (And advice on two types that can fertilise each other, please!  Or does that just happen when you order it?)

Elder no good on clay?

Beech - probably would take on the lower ground where the soil is deeper, but not higher up where the soil is shallow.  It would be great to let some grow for firewood and cut trunks for firewood on a 10 year cycle. So maybe should be in the 'tree' section.

Guelder rose?  Dog rose?  Rosa rugosa?  All three?

Field maple?  Is a bit of a marmite tree, I think?   Any benefits?

Crab apple?

Dogwood?  Not toxic as far as I can see, and has pretty red stems in winter...

Any other trees that will perform okay with a 4-yearly trim, and have benefits?

Not sure if they would be trimmed hedge or need to be trees


Goat willow?  The ground is very wet, so I wonder about having some goat willow to help with that.  If it wouldn't cope with regular (4 year) trimming, we could put it in sections where we are letting a tree or two grow?  ( Other thread specifically about willow as a hedging plant.)

Wild cherry?  Wild pear?  Damson?  Any other fruiting trees that would work in the trimmed parts?

Trees, whether pollarded or not


Not ash at the moment  :'(

Elm, I read something that said to plant elm and to pollard before they reach 20 years old, when the bark beetle strikes.  It would be nice to help elm recover but I think it might be better to wait until there is more of an established process.  The Cornish Elm is much missed so I expect there will be a scheme to reestablish once they understand how to manage them.

Willow!  Which I think we would pollard and use the stems.

Holly under the other trees, as shade tolerant.  And would then provide shelter in winter as the holly is evergreen.

Beech to be pollarded on a 10-year cycle for firewood.  Nearer the bottom where the soil is deeper.

Oak.  I think it's too windy and the soil too shallow, except maybe the very bottom, more sheltered section.

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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 12:48:55 am »
I've put in my bit about willow in your other thread.  Here goes with this one.


It's worth having at least half your plants to be hawthorn - we plant them on the wind side of the hedge, plus some intermingled with other species on the slightly sheltered side.


I agree about blackthorn - hateithateit!


Holly is lovely in a hedge, but there are certain local superstitions about cutting it so beware.  It's good to grow a few together so you get male and female flowers then berries.


I don't think there's too much need to worry about evergreens as once your hedge bulks up a bit it will be a perfect wind break.


It's worth mentioning tree guards here - necessary though they are against voles and rabbits, check if you really need the rabbit ones.  For our new planting we are going to use vole guards which are 20cm tall and allow the saplings to branch out lower down. All our older hedges where we used rabbit guards are fairly bare for the bottom part so the wind whistles through.  Our vole guards will be biodegradable (not sure if they mean photodegradable) - from Cheviot Trees.  Removing old tree guards from a fairly mature hedge is a job you really don't want!


Hazel is a shrub I really love but I'm starting to wish I hadn't planted so many in our wildlife strip - they grow bushy and dark and shade out other species.  The answer of course is to keep them coppiced.  Regularly trimmed in a hedgerow I don't think you'll get many nuts, but even when we've had a promising looking crop the nuts have been empty.


Elder - no good in a hedge!  Same reasons as willow in a hedge but worse - elder shoves itself a large hole then once the hedge is mature the elder dies out and the surrounding hedge is too mature to fill the gap.  Elder is great to have elsewhere though for flowers and fruit for wildlife and humans.


We use Beech and Hornbeam to complement eachother.  Both tend to keep their leaves in winter, to rustle and to hold off the wind a bit, but hornbeam works better in damper areas and beech prefers it a bit drier.


Field maple is a beautiful tree with a special sturdy trunk which seems to attract lovely lichens.  It does grow large potentially but works very well trimmed in a hedgerow.  It will win a battle with slower growing plants if not controlled.


Guelder rose - not a rose of course.  We have some in a more open treed area but the jury's still out on that. I don't like Rosa Rugosa in a mixed hedge, but we do have a stretch devoted to it alone, near the hens' orchard as they love the hips.  Wild roses are a must in a hedge although they're a nuisance with mechanical cutting because their stems can be really long and tangle.  There are several varieties including dog rose. There's the Scottish rose which is very delicate with yellow flowers and black hips, some pretty white flowered roses various mostly with red hips.  Roses are better added after a couple of years once the hedge itself has grown a bit.


I don't think dogwood is really suitable for a hedge - wrong growing habit.


Crab apple, wild cherry and bird cherry all grow well in a hedge but are best left to grow up above the general height.  They provide blossom for the pollen and nectar seekers and fruit for the birds (and humans if you're quick).  Rowan and Whitebeam are grown the same way so they can flower and fruit above the hedge. 


If you have a damp part of your proposed hedgeline, or anywhere else on your farm then Alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a great small tree to plant.  It sucks up water and is one of those pioneer trees such as birch which help to dry out land so other species can grow.  It is also a great pollen tree for bees.


You haven't mentioned Scots Pine which grows all over Britain and is the only native pine we have I think.  Obviously it has to be grown as a standard within a hedgerow.  Keep it brashed ie remove the lower branches to keep the crown above the hedge top and prevent it crowding out its smaller companions.


Oak can be grown as a trimmed hedge plant or as a standard within a hedge.  Be aware that it grows slowly so the plants surrounding it need to be trimmed by hand from time to time to give the oak some light.  Check if it's Quercus petraea or Quercus robur (Sessile or Pedunculate) which belongs to your area.


We also have birch, both silver and downy in our hedges as standards - they are such a beautiful tree and provide a lot of insects for birds such as tits and seeds for siskins. 


A very small shrub and hedge plant is the spindle.  It grows well in a hedge and produces the most improbable flowers and fruit which are garish pink and orange!  And of course you can use the wood for your replacement spindle shaft  :spin: :eyelashes:





« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 12:51:44 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.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 01:18:53 am »
I should add about Rosa Rugosa that the reason I don't like it in a hedge is that it suckers, just like blackthorn, and takes over a wide strip.  It's perfect if you want to keep out rabbles as it's impenetrable, but it's just not hedge friendly. Great in city housing estates!
"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.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 05:42:30 am »
Thank you, ladies. We're thinking about more hedging now we have fewer sheep, so this is timely and helpful. :bouquet:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2020, 12:40:27 pm »
Thank you, ladies. We're thinking about more hedging now we have fewer sheep, so this is timely and helpful. :bouquet:

You'll love this then Rosemary - totally appropriate to where you live!

https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/archivists-garden/index-by-plant-name/white-rose-of-scotland-scots-rose-burnet-rose

Ours are very pale yellow, but they are lovely anyway  :)  and they don't really need sand dunes.
"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.

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2020, 11:19:46 am »
Sorry, I don't have time to read the whole thread, but have you seen this? Sorry if you have but it's well wroth knowing about. I've been awarded 250m of mixed hedge and trees at a cost to me of just over 400. I'm in a pickle because I don't now have the money so may have to decline the subsidy.

There are some conditions to getting funding, but they're not onerous - just involving some public access, which can be community based projects so well controlled.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/large-scale-planting/morehedges/

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Plants for new stock-fenced hedgerows
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2020, 10:49:29 pm »
Will definitely follow that up, thanks @Dreich Pete
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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