My fence has blown down in these high winds. Should I replace it with a hedge and, if so, what type of hedging should I plant?
An established hedge will not blow down in the wind like a fence, it does not need painting, won’t go rotten and will last a lifetime if trimmed regularly. Most hedges only need to be pruned once a year and if they are kept to the same height as a fence panel, i.e. 6ft, they are easy to maintain with a hedgetrimmer and there is no need to go on a wobbly ladder.
Hedges provide screening and privacy but also have other benefits over fences: research has shown that hedges can also filter out air pollution from roads, removing dangerous particulates from the air that can cause asthma and heart disease. Conifers tend to be the best at this but even deciduous hedges will filter out air pollution. A hedge can also provide a nesting site and food for birds. It will also reduce noise from roads and the next door neighbours!
So which hedge should you plant? First you need to determine whether you want screening all year round or not. If the answer is yes, you want an evergreen plant and below are some of the best options. If you want a field hedge that is deciduous (loses its leaves in the winter) see my blog on Native, bare-root hedging plants explained.
Leylandii is the quickest growing and the one you’ll get tallest plants for your money. Leylandii makes a handsome, formal hedge if it is trimmed once or twice a year and kept to a manageable 6-8ft tall. If you want to grow it taller, make sure you have a good platform to trim it from such as a Henchman Hi-Step platform. We currently have special offers on our 6ft and 7ft tall leylandii.
Laurel is the next quickest and, if you don’t want a conifer hedge, it is a good alternative, Its glossy, bright, evergreen leaves make an excellent screen all year round. It only needs trimming once a year.
Portugal Laurel is one of my favourites. It is easy to maintain and always looks need and tidy.
Thuja Emerald is an excellent low-maintenance hedge. You never need to trim the sides and just cut the tops once a year.
For more information on which hedging plants to choose, click on this link to look at our hedging page.