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The Best Time to Plant Bare-Root Hedging and Why

Bare-root hedging is a popular choice for people looking to add natural borders, privacy screens, or even aesthetic elements to their outdoor spaces. But timing is everything when it comes to planting these hedges. In this blog post, we'll explore the optimal times to plant bare-root hedging and why these periods are ideal.


Late Autumn to Early Winter: The Early Bird Gets the Worm


Soil Conditions

One of the best times to plant bare-root hedging is late autumn to early winter. The soil is usually still warm from the summer months, which aids in quicker root establishment.


Less Stress on Plants

During this period, plants are dormant, meaning they're not actively growing. This reduces the stress associated with transplanting, making it easier for the plants to adapt to their new environment.


Natural Moisture

The rainfall during these months ensures that the soil remains moist, providing the ideal conditions for root development.


Late Winter to Early Spring: Last Chance for Optimal Planting


Pre-Growth season

Planting bare-root hedges just before the growing season kicks in allows the plants to establish their roots in time for spring.


Workable Soil

As the ground softens, the soil becomes easier to work with, which makes the planting process smoother and less labour-intensive.


Reduced Watering Needs

The natural moisture levels in the soil are generally higher during late winter and early spring, reducing the need for frequent watering.

 

Top Bare Root Hedging to Consider

Cherry

Conditions: Prefers well-drained, acidic to neutral soil; full sun to partial shade; suitable for medium to large gardens.


Benefits: Offers stunning spring blossoms and vibrant autumn foliage; attracts pollinators; some varieties produce edible cherries.


Blackthorn

Conditions: Extremely hardy and can tolerate poor, dry soils; full sun to partial shade; suitable for small to large gardens.


Benefits: Produces sloe berries, which can be used to make sloe gin; serves as a robust natural barrier due to its thorny branches.


Crab Apple

Conditions: Adaptable to various soil types but prefers well-drained soil; full sun to partial shade; suitable for medium to large gardens.


Benefits: Produces beautiful spring blossoms and autumn fruits; the fruits can be used for making jelly; attracts birds and pollinators.


Hornbeam

Conditions: Prefers moist, well-drained soils; can tolerate shade but prefers full sun; suitable for medium to large gardens.


Benefits: Excellent for hedging and topiary; its leaves turn a beautiful golden-yellow in autumn; it provides habitat for birds.


Viburnum

Conditions: Adaptable to a wide range of soil types; prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade; suitable for small to medium gardens.


Benefits: Offers year-round interest with its fragrant flowers, colourful berries, and vibrant autumn foliage; attracts birds and pollinators.


Elderberry

Conditions: Prefers well-drained, loamy soils but is quite adaptable; full sun to partial shade; suitable for medium to large gardens.


Benefits: Produces fragrant flowers and edible berries that can be used in jams, syrups, and wines; attracts a variety of wildlife, including birds and pollinators; offers medicinal properties.


Laurel

Conditions: Adaptable to various soil types, including clay and sandy soils; prefers full sun but can tolerate shade; suitable for small to large gardens.


Benefits: Provides a dense, evergreen screen for year-round privacy; low maintenance; its leaves stay green throughout the year.


Willow

Conditions: Thrives in moist and wet soils; prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade; ideal for gardens near water bodies or damp areas.


Benefits: Excellent for stabilising soil in wet areas; its long, slender branches can be used for weaving or as a design element; it provides habitat for birds and other wildlife.

 

Why Timing Matters

Planting outside of the dormant seasons can lead to various challenges. For instance, planting in the summer often requires additional watering, and the hot temperatures can stress the plants. Similarly, planting when the ground is frozen during deep winter is generally not advisable.

Planting a tree this autumn is more than just a garden upgrade; it's an investment in your well-being and the environment.



Choosing the right time to plant your bare-root hedging can make all the difference in how well your plants establish themselves and grow. Late autumn to early winter and late winter to early spring are the optimal times for planting most bare-root hedges.











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