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Old 23-08-2004, 10:26 PM
Lynda Thornton
 
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Default Beech or Hornbeam for hedging - is there much difference? Plus, holly hedging opinions please!

Hi

We are planning some extensive hedging in our new garden/drive areas.
There is a long stretch of verge with nothing planted in it which
separates us from a small new housing development so we want to hedge
this (almost 80ft long) and were thinking originally of purple beech to
match the old established hedge surrounding the garden and opposite the
verge. However there is the option of hornbeam, which seems to resemble
beech and also does the same trick of holding its leaves over winter and
is good for wildlife. It's also a lot cheaper to buy even in bulk as we
would need over 100 plants - so why is that? Are there any major
differences between hornbeam and beech that we need to know and haven't
discovered? Is hornbeam less fussy and a better grower or something?
The beech hedges that are already here are about 10ft high and have put
on up to 2ft new growth in places, so they're doing well, would hornbeam
be as good or better than that?

Also if we want to grow the beech hedge a bit higher, maybe another foot
or two, should we just trim back to the average height of the new growth
and leave say 1ft of new growth on the top, or take more or less off?

We would also like to plant a holly hedge along another boundary, in
fact it already has a large amount of holly hedge, but there is a large
gap where the hedge stops and there is a not very exciting rose bush and
a buddleia instead, followed by an old and cracking concreted bit where
they had compost bins or something. We want to continue the holly hedge
along this stretch but were thinking of varying it a bit with some
variegated, maybe silver and gold as well - has anyone here got
experience with growing these different kinds of holly and are any forms
better than others for hedging? Is the native green holly a better bet
and will it grow faster than the variegated kinds for instance? The
existing hedge is easily 8ft+ so do the variegated kinds grow easily to
this kind of height as a hedge?

Also, another holly question - the previous owners reduced the height of
the hedge by about 18in for a certain section of it, and we would like
to re-grow it back to its original height to match up with the rest -
what is the best thing to do, just to leave the new growth or to clip it
back to some extent?

Thanks again!

Lynda


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Old 23-08-2004, 10:36 PM
Sam
 
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It's also a lot cheaper to buy even in bulk as we
would need over 100 plants - so why is that? Are there any major
differences between hornbeam and beech that we need to know and haven't
discovered? Is hornbeam less fussy and a better grower or something?


Can't say i'm an expert in such matters but I have heard often that Hornbeam
is tougher and more resilient than Beech when it comes to such things as
drought and diseases like Honey Fungus. I heard also that there is some
newish fungus going around that can destroy Beech very easily. We have a
predominantly Beech hedge at the front of our property and I want to figure
out how to underplant with Holly.

Sam


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Old 24-08-2004, 03:16 PM
Victoria Clare
 
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Default

Lynda Thornton wrote in
:

However there is the option of hornbeam, which seems to resemble
beech and also does the same trick of holding its leaves over winter and
is good for wildlife. It's also a lot cheaper to buy even in bulk as we
would need over 100 plants - so why is that? Are there any major
differences between hornbeam and beech that we need to know and haven't
discovered? Is hornbeam less fussy and a better grower or something?


According to Archie Miles: 'Silva - the tree in Britain' hornbeam is 'not
quite so forgiving of poor and stony soils' as beech, preferring good clay
or deep loam. '

He also mentions that it makes a slightly denser hedge than beech (though
personally I think that's probably more down to how you cut it).

Neither of these seem to explain the price difference!
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Old 24-08-2004, 05:32 PM
Spider
 
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Default


Lynda Thornton wrote in message
...
Hi

We are planning some extensive hedging in our new garden/drive areas.
There is a long stretch of verge with nothing planted in it which
separates us from a small new housing development so we want to hedge
this (almost 80ft long) and were thinking originally of purple beech to
match the old established hedge surrounding the garden and opposite the
verge. However there is the option of hornbeam, which seems to resemble
beech and also does the same trick of holding its leaves over winter and
is good for wildlife. It's also a lot cheaper to buy even in bulk as we
would need over 100 plants - so why is that? Are there any major
differences between hornbeam and beech that we need to know and haven't
discovered? Is hornbeam less fussy and a better grower or something?
The beech hedges that are already here are about 10ft high and have put
on up to 2ft new growth in places, so they're doing well, would hornbeam
be as good or better than that?

Also if we want to grow the beech hedge a bit higher, maybe another foot
or two, should we just trim back to the average height of the new growth
and leave say 1ft of new growth on the top, or take more or less off?

We would also like to plant a holly hedge along another boundary, in
fact it already has a large amount of holly hedge, but there is a large
gap where the hedge stops and there is a not very exciting rose bush and
a buddleia instead, followed by an old and cracking concreted bit where
they had compost bins or something. We want to continue the holly hedge
along this stretch but were thinking of varying it a bit with some
variegated, maybe silver and gold as well - has anyone here got
experience with growing these different kinds of holly and are any forms
better than others for hedging? Is the native green holly a better bet
and will it grow faster than the variegated kinds for instance? The
existing hedge is easily 8ft+ so do the variegated kinds grow easily to
this kind of height as a hedge?

Also, another holly question - the previous owners reduced the height of
the hedge by about 18in for a certain section of it, and we would like
to re-grow it back to its original height to match up with the rest -
what is the best thing to do, just to leave the new growth or to clip it
back to some extent?

Thanks again!

Lynda


Hi Lynda,

I am also not an expert, but I did consider beech v hornbeam hedging a few
years back. I settled on an evergreen hedge eventually, but if I'd chosen
one of the others, I would have used hornbeam. The thing that made the
difference for me was that hornbeam greens up sooner in the spring. At that
time of year, early new growth is such a morale booster, but more
importantly (perhaps) you regain the screening properties of the hedge
sooner.

Can't explain the price difference, though. Perhaps hornbeam grows faster
than beech? ... or maybe plant sizes are different?

Spider




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