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Exploring Bare Root Hedging

Bare root hedging is an inexpensive and sustainable way to create a beautiful boundary in your outside space. It requires minimal maintenance, is cost-effective and is easy to plant. In this email, we'll look at the many benefits of bare root hedging, how to choose the right plants for your garden, and the best way to plant and care for them. So, let's get started!

What are the Benefits of Bare Root Hedging?

  1. The plants provide a cost-effective way to form attractive boundaries, less expensive than other alternatives, such as container-grown or rootball hedges. As they are grown in the ground and are usually lifted when still relatively young, they require less input in terms of fertilisers, growing management and watering. They are also easier to lift, package and transport than larger plants, which helps keep these an economic planting option.

  2. Bare roots encourage better root growth because the plants have more direct contact with the soil.

  3. These plants are more lightweight than other forms of hedging, making them easy to plant and manoeuvre without requiring many extra people.

  4. They are long-lasting and require less maintenance, making them an ideal hedging solution when you have less time.

  5. Depending on the species, bare root hedging can be a great way to attract wildlife, keep livestock in and unwanted guests out, provide privacy and shelter from the elements, and so much more.


Which hedging plants should I choose?

Top Species for Fast Growing & Screening

Beech - Beech hedging makes a great privacy screen or windbreak. One of the best-selling hedges in the nation, this hedge makes a beautiful formal or single-species garden hedge. The leaves are green in summer but turn to shades of yellow, red and orange in the autumn. Although deciduous, it usually holds onto some leaves, providing privacy and shelter during winter.

Field Maple - Field Maple is a fast-growing hedging plant which is an easy-to-maintain and resilient hedging species. Field Maple is attractive to wildlife, with the flowers providing nectar for bees and birds and the habitat supporting a wide range of insects.

Hazel - Hazel is a fast-growing hedging species that will grow well in almost any condition. It bears yellow catkins in February, making it one of the earliest pollen sources for bees, and it produces edible hazelnuts in autumn.

Privet - There are many benefits to using privet as a hedging plant. This fast-growing shrub is tolerant of pollution, making it an excellent choice for built-up, urban areas, and due to its density, it creates a great screen, wind-proofing, and noise reduction. Most privet is semi-evergreen, meaning they will retain at least some leaf cover throughout the year.

Willow - One of the few hedge species that can tolerate and even thrive in wet or moist soil conditions is willow. Often used along field edges and riverbanks, it is also excellent around paddocks or for farm screening where livestock are housed. There are a number of varieties of willow, some more colourful than others, and some are fantastic for weaving. Willow is also one of the earliest plants to provide nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, making them an excellent wildlife choice.

Hornbeam - Hornbeam has a moderate growth rate yet is highly resilient and can tolerate poorer growing conditions such as shade, high winds and clay or wet soils. Hornbeam can keeps some of its leaves well into the winter, which provides a long season of shelter and foraging opportunities for small birds and mammals.


Top Species for Beauty & Wildlife

Hawthorn - Hawthorn makes a hardy, highly tolerant hedge, forming a dense barrier that blossoms and encourages wildlife to live in your garden. It is the most widely used native hedging plant, often used for stock-proof or mixed hedges, where it can provide excellent structural strength.

Dogwood - Dogwood is often considered a favourable hedge plant because it brightens up a garden, especially during the winter months, until fresh foliage and spring flowers can appear from the garden.

Dog Rose - Dog Rose is a native fast-growing shrubby hedging plant often used in mixed hedges. Its spiny branches enable it to weave in amongst other shrubs. Pretty, faintly scented pink flowers are followed by striking red hips, giving it a long season of colour, interest, and plenty of attraction for wildlife.

Wild Cherry - Wild Cherry, is a hardy deciduous tree with an abundance of stunning white flowers in the spring followed by bright red cherries. The flowers are an early source of nectar and pollen for bees, the fruit attracts various species of birds and mammals and the leaves attract caterpillars.

Blackthorn - Blackthorn makes an excellent natural security hedge due to its dense, thorny foliage. The Blackthorn is attractive to wildlife, with various butterfly and moth caterpillars feasting on the leaves. The dense nature of the shrub makes it an ideal nesting site for birds. And don't forget the wonderful sloes that come from this native hedging plant - beneficial for a certain festive tipple.

Elderberry - Suitable for most locations and soil types; Elder is very attractive to wildlife; the flowers provide nectar for bees and insects, and many moth caterpillars feed on the foliage. Both elderflowers and elder berries are well known and widely used for culinary purposes as they are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, perfect for boosting the immune system.

Mixed Hedge Packs - If you can't decide, or you want more of a variety in your hedges, we have collated a few carefully selected mixed hedge packs that are suitable for certain situations. We have chosen plants that we know will grow well together to give you a beautiful mixed hedge that will be good for your purpose, be it, intruder protection, wildlife creation, horse-friendly species or more.


When should I plant bare root hedging?

The best time to plant bare root hedging is during the dormant season, usually between late November and April. Planting during this time ensures that the plants have time to settle into their new environment and will be more robust and established when the growing season begins.


How should I plant bare root hedging?

Ensure the planting area has been cleared sufficiently to remove any competition from your new hedge. Preparing the soil before planting by adding a good general-purpose compost and, optionally, a slow-release fertiliser will increase soil fertility and can make all the difference to the health of your hedging plants. Increasing the amount of organic material in the ground helps retain moisture, encourages beneficial microorganisms, and helps to reduce the risk of plant diseases.

Additionally, organic matter can help reduce the need for watering and fertilising and can be highly beneficial in areas with poor soil or where the plants may experience high temperatures or harsh weather.

Aerating the soil with a garden fork also allows it to absorb more air, water, and nutrients for your plants, an essential part of planting bare-root hedging.


How should I protect my plants?

Depending upon your situation, we have a range of products that will help protect your plants in the early stages after planting. The most commonly used are the spiral guards and canes which protect young plants against damage caused by rabbits, voles and other small mammals. The spirals wrap around the young plant, whilst the bamboo cane provides support for the spiral so it it not damaging the plant.