Native Hedging

If the weather is unsuitable for planting on receiving the hedging then dig a hole and bury the roots of the bunched plants. (storage prior to this should be inside away from possible frosts.) They can be stored like this until planting becomes possible.

All the species in a wildlife hedge can be cut back or ‘coppiced’ without harm, in the first year after establishment, the hedge can be cut back to stimulate the growth of the hedge from the base. Thereafter cut every 2 –3 years. the best time to cut is in spring after wildlife has benefited from berries etc as a food source and before birds start to nest.

How to plant a hedge

Good soil preparation beforehand will give your hedge the best start in life.

Soil preparation

  • Prepare the ground by digging over a strip 60-90cm and about one spade blade deep.
  • If a herbicide (weedkiller) has not been used beforehand, remove all weeds.

Do not add organic matter to the bottom of the trench as it decomposes causing the shrub to sink.


  • Plant 4 per metre for Single row, 6 per metre for Double row
  • Trim back damaged roots to healthy growth with sharp knife or old pair of secateurs
  • Spread out the roots, ensuring the planting depth is correct.
  • On sandy or heavy clay soils, mix organic matter, such as garden compost or a proprietary tree and shrub planting mix, with the soil dug out from the hole to backfill.
  • Work soil between the roots, firm plants in so that soil is in close contact with the roots. Water if the soil is dry
  • Mulch to a depth of 7.5cm (3in) after planting to prevent weeds


  • Ensure plants are well-watered during dry spells for the next two years
  • Keep the hedge and 45cm (18in) on each side weed-free

Native hedging

Native hedging