Advice needed on beech hedge husbandry.

  Brumas 18:55 24 Aug 2008

I planted a beech hedge 3 or 4 years ago at the bottom of my garden, on the banks of the burn, as the fence there was falling to pieces. Some of the beech are now 9 feet high and some 6 – 7 feet high.
When we first moved here across the burn was an old, not unattractive garage/petrol station screened by self- seeded saplings which suited us fine because it afforded great privacy and a nice view.
Last year the garage was demolished and the site will now be 4 houses :o( I now intend to let the beech hedge go wild and just grow , thus obscuring the new houses and giving me back the privacy we had and have been used to. They just grubbed up the saplings even though a couple of us made representations – but that’s another story!
An old neighbour suggests cutting the tops off to thicken it out!
What I would like to know is this, if I cut the hedge down to 6 or 7 feet now, will it continue to grow upwards as well as thicken out - or will it just thicken out and remain at 6 or 7 feet?
I really do want the hedge/screen/mini-wood whatever, block out the houses at the bottom of the garden and would be most annoyed if I followed the advice and the hedge remained truncated?

  spuds 19:07 24 Aug 2008
  John B 19:08 24 Aug 2008
  John B 19:09 24 Aug 2008


  Brumas 19:11 24 Aug 2008

Obviously great minds think alike. There is plenty there for me to have a look at - thanks.

  Forum Editor 19:27 24 Aug 2008

which is about ten years old. When it reached seven feet I cut the top off it, and made regular but infrequent cuts off the sides. It continues to try to grow upward, but more slowly, and is nice and thick at the bottom. I've seen Beech screens that are twenty feet high, so I think you can stop it whenever you like.

  Brumas 19:48 24 Aug 2008

Thanks, you also answered an unasked question. I have just completed the task, which was a lot easier than I thought,I'll post back the results in ten years time :o))

  laurie53 19:56 24 Aug 2008

I have a small beech hedge which I keep at three feet or so by using a normal hedge cutter once a year, in July or August.

Of course, you could always go for broke and try and outdo Meikleour

click here

  Brumas 20:12 24 Aug 2008

That is where we always take a break whenever we drive to Ballater - I wouldn't like to pass under when the beech mast is falling !!

  carver 12:47 25 Aug 2008

We have a Beech hedge that is now over 60 years old in our garden,it's over 130ft long x 70ft wide, the side boundaries we keep to about 6 foot but at the bottom of the garden we have allowed it to grow to a hight of 10 foot.

If you cut of the top you will turn it from a tree into a hedge, so if you want to obscure the houses I sugest that you wait until the Beech reaches the desired hight before doing any thing to it.

At this time just lightly prune the side branches to take off the growing tips, this will encourage it to thicken up, but remember once the top is cut then any growth up-wards will be extremely slow.

One last thing, if you need any hedge cutters invest in a good heavy duty one that will last, my neighbor who moved in a couple of years ago decided to buy a cheap electric hedge cutter, it lasted him less than 2 years before packing in.

  Quickbeam 08:56 26 Aug 2008

in the world click here

The best thing about a beech hedge is that it gives near full cover in winter as the leaves stay on until the new push them off. In that way if you're patient, you get a good hedge that is natural to this country without the faults of the quick growing conifer hedges that leave gaping gaps at the base as they grow taller.

I don't know if it's anything to do with the beech, but my neighbours 40 year old hedge has regular nesting wrens at either end of his 60' hedge.

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