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A Complete Guide to Pleached Trees

A Complete Guide to Pleached Trees


So you’re interested in buying some Pleached Trees? We don’t blame you! Thanks to their ability to offer privacy, shade, and visual allure while retaining a formal aesthetic, these remarkable trees have become a popular choice for gardens and landscaping.

If you’re thinking about investing in Pleached Trees for your outdoor space, then you may be looking for some help to make sure you don’t make any mistakes.

Let us introduce you to the world of pleached trees and explore why they are an ideal addition to any outdoor space!

What Are Pleached Trees?

What does it mean when a tree is pleached? When a tree is pleached, it means that its branches have been trained and pruned in a specific manner to create a formal, structured appearance.

The process involves training the branches of the tree to grow in a horizontal or diagonal pattern, typically onto a framework made of bamboo or wire. This results in a clear, straight stem below and a dense, leafy canopy above - stunning!

The purpose of pleaching is often to create a living screen or hedgerow, providing privacy or acting as a decorative element in gardens or landscapes. Pleached trees are commonly used to define boundaries, create partitions, or add architectural interest to outdoor spaces.

Types of Pleached Trees

Hornbeam (Carpinus)

Hornbeam is a deciduous tree often used for pleaching due to its dense, interwoven branches. Its smooth, grey bark adds an elegant touch to its appearance. The leaves turn golden-yellow in autumn, providing a stunning display of colour.


Beech (Fagus)

Beech trees are renowned for their smooth, grey bark and distinctive, serrated leaves. They are a popular choice for pleaching thanks to their ability to retain their leaves throughout winter, providing evergreen privacy and structure even during the colder months.


Oleaster (Elaeagnus)

Oleaster, also known as silverberry, is an evergreen tree with silver-grey foliage that shimmers in the sunlight. It offers a unique aesthetic when pleached, adding texture and a touch of brightness to the landscape.


Spindletree (Euonymus)

Spindletree is a deciduous tree that’s chosen for pleaching because of its vibrant autumn colours. Its green leaves turn shades of yellow, orange, and red, creating a striking visual display. In winter, its distinctive spindle-shaped fruits add further interest.


Privet (Ilex)

Privet is a versatile evergreen tree often used for pleaching due to its dense foliage and ability to be easily shaped. Its small, glossy leaves create a lush, green backdrop that provides privacy and structure to the landscape.


Sweet Gum (Liquidambar)

Sweet Gum is a deciduous tree known for its star-shaped leaves and vibrant fall foliage. Its leaves turn a mix of yellow, orange, and burgundy, providing a captivating autumnal display when pleached.

Lime (Tilia)

Lime trees, also known as linden trees, are popular choices for pleaching due to their graceful appearance and heart-shaped leaves. They have a pleasant fragrance when in bloom and their leaves turn a bright, buttery yellow in autumn.


Crab Apple (Malus)

Crab Apple trees offer an enchanting display when pleached, thanks to their delicate blossoms in spring and colorful fruits in autumn. They are valued for their ornamental value and their ability to attract wildlife, making them a delightful addition to any pleached avenue.

Red Robin (Photinia)

Red Robin, a type of photinia, is prized for its vibrant red foliage, which lasts throughout the year. It creates a striking contrast when pleached, with its glossy leaves providing a rich backdrop against other greenery.


Evergreen Oak or Holm Oak (Quercus ilex)

Evergreen Oak, also known as Holm Oak, is a majestic evergreen tree often selected for pleaching due to its glossy, dark-green leaves and rugged bark. Its robust nature and ability to withstand harsh conditions make it an excellent choice for creating pleached screens or hedges that provide year-round privacy.

Choosing the Right Pleached Trees

Selecting the right pleached trees for you is crucial to ensure their success and harmonious integration. You should consider the following factors when making your choice:


It’s important to consider your relationship with your neighbours before planting large plants like Pleached Trees. If you choose a variety that might affect someone else's outdoor space, then it might be worth having a conversation with them first. If your neighbours are supportive, you can use pleached trees up to the boundary, saving space while creating a garden underneath. However, if you'll be maintaining them yourself, leave room for trimming and accessing the back to tie it to a frame.

Soil type

Different pleached trees have varying soil preferences. Assess your soil's drainage and fertility before buying pleached trees if possible and determine which variety will thrive best in your garden.

Light conditions

Evaluate the amount of sunlight your garden receives throughout the day. Some pleached trees prefer full sun, while others can tolerate partial shade.

Desired height and spread

Determine the ideal dimensions for your pleached trees based on your privacy requirements and available space. Consider both their current and mature sizes. If all you want to do is hide an unsightly fence or wall, wall frames are an option that won't consume as much border space as 6-foot fence panels.

Maintenance requirements

Some pleached trees will require more frequent pruning or additional care than others. It’s important to factor in the level of maintenance you are willing to commit to, or else you’ll end up with messy-looking pleached trees.

How to Plant and Maintain Pleached Trees

Convinced you want pleached trees in your garden? Well, it’s important that you understand how to plant and care for them to ensure your investment isn’t wasted and that you’re up for the maintenance they require.

Planting and maintaining pleached trees require careful attention to ensure their healthy growth and longevity. We suggest following these step-by-step instructions to enjoy the full potential of your pleached trees:

1. Soil preparation

Prior to planting, you should ensure that the soil is well-drained and free from weeds. You might want to consider incorporating organic matter to improve soil structure and fertility.

2. Planting depth

Prior to planting, dig a hole that is wide enough to accommodate the root ball of the tree. Position the tree so that the root collar is level with the soil surface, ensuring it is not planted too deeply.

3. Support & Training

When planting pleached trees, stake them with two posts and a rail for stability. You can buy a Heavy Duty Tree Staking Kit from us, or make your own. If you are in a very windy spot use a second cross rail midway between the top and the floor to give the plant more anchorage and reinforce the support posts.

We also recommend using rubber tree pads and belts to protect the trunk from rubbing and to secure it to the rail. Position the plant upright and attach the pad and belt, leaving the shaping cane or post intact and tying it to support posts. Make sure to monitor the training ties/bands to prevent them from becoming too tight and potentially damaging the stems. For the first season or two, you will need to tie in the branches at regular intervals to get them used to the shape of the guide frame.

4. Watering

Proper watering is crucial, especially while your pleached tree is establishing. Be sure to provide regular irrigation, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Watering is especially important for potted trees.

5. Fertilizing

Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in spring to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper dosage.

6. Pruning

Regularly trim new growth to maintain the desired shape and density of the pleached tree. You can keep the trunk or stem clear by pruning or rubbing off any new shoots as and when they appear. Remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches in the summer. To preserve the desired height and formal look of the screen while promoting dense growth, use hedging shears to clip it once or twice annually.

Where to Buy Pleached Trees

Here at Grasslands Nursery, we sell exceptional pleached trees at different levels of maturity that will transform your garden into a captivating haven.

Our plant nursery is in Knutsford, Cheshire if you’d like to come and browse our range in person, or you can buy pleached trees online and get them delivered to you.

Browse our collection online and embark on a journey of beauty, privacy, and sophistication with our stunning pleached trees.

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