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A staple of gardens across the UK for generations, hornbeam hedges have the ability to create an inexpensive and easy-to-plant natural boundary in your garden. As well as providing organic structure to enhance the look of any outdoor space, planting hornbeam is also an ideal way of encouraging wildlife, and in particular nesting birds, to settle in your garden.
This traditional deciduous hedger not only provides the opportunity to create a natural structural feature to any landscape, but can also inject a vibrant and ever-changing aesthetic to your garden. The versatility of hornbeam allows it to adapt throughout the year as the seasons come and go, displaying lush green foliage in spring and summer before being replaced by beautiful copper-coloured leaves during the winter months. Unlike other boundary hedges, hornbeam can provide natural garden boundaries with a consistent year-round cover.
To find an impressive range of great value hedging plants and to buy hornbeam hedge, visit our website and have a browse. Our range of hornbeam hedging is professionally grown and nurtured at our own 30 acre Cheshire site, ensuring the highest level of care and quality.
When and where to plant your hornbeam
Hornbeam is an incredibly versatile and resilient form of hedging, making it easy to maintain and ideal for growth in traditionally more exposed and unsheltered gardens. In order to give your hornbeam the best conditions to thrive, the hedge plant should ideally be planted in a bright to semi-shaded area, although it’s worth noting that hornbeam can still develop well and achieve a good growth even in shaded locations. While these highly adaptable shrubs will grow sufficiently in sandy or clay-based soils, depending on the correct levels of moisture and nutrients, hornbeam will prosper best in moderately acidic to slightly alkaline soil types.
As a rule of thumb, this type of hedge should be bedded between the middle of October and the end of November in UK gardens. This provides the young shrubs with the best opportunity to spread their fine hair roots before the full extent of winter sets in. Planting in mid-autumn also has the advantage of allowing your hornbeam hedge to develop over the winter months. When spring comes round once again, the hedge plant will have enjoyed sufficient time to establish itself and really flourish in preparation for warmer and drier conditions to come.
Caring for your hornbeam
Without care and attention, an untrimmed hornbeam hedge will grow into a medium to large majestic tree in just a matter of years. Approximately speaking, this versatile hedge plant will grow between 30 and 60cm - that’s between 1 to 2ft - per year. Therefore, once the hedging shrub has been given sufficient time to establish itself in your garden, it is important to shorten the longer shoots and side shoots of your hornbeam. This is essential in preventing your shrub from growing outwards too quickly and will stop the central section of the hedge from becoming sparse.
After this initial prune, the hedge should only be tended to on a strictly ‘little and often’ basis. To ensure hornbeam maintains its thickness and to avoid bare batches, during its first year the plant shouldn’t be cut back too often, while the addition of compost (roughly 2-3 litres per square metre) will fertilise the plant and give the hedge essential nutrients for healthy growth.
Finally, it’s important to remember hornbeam is highly sensitive to waterlogging. After an initial period of aggressive watering during the autumnal weeks directly after planting (approximately 10 to 20 litres of water per square metre), this should be replaced by a more restrained regime as winter sets in. Hornbeam hedge in winter represents a very low maintenance shrub and one ideal for providing natural and inexpensive boundaries in your garden. However, it is essential to remember that overwatering can ultimately be detrimental to your plant’s future growth.
In order to find more information about these plants and to help you make the perfect choice for your garden, simply click the links on this page or contact us directly. Once you’ve decided which hornbeam hedging plants are right for you, you can make your purchase on our website, via our order line or at our nursery site.