The Content Of The Article:
- Different site requirements for hornbeam and beech
- Maintain beech hedges properly
- Step by step to the new garden border
Beech or European beech: Beech trees are one of the most popular hedge plants because they are cut-friendly and grow quickly. Although their foliage is deciduous, which some might consider a small disadvantage over evergreen plants at first glance, the yellowed foliage will remain with them until next spring. Who decides for a beech hedge, so the entire winter has a good privacy.
Optically, hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) are very similar. It is all the more surprising that the hornbeam is actually a birch plant (Betulaceae), even if it is usually assigned to the beeches. The beech, however, is actually a beech family (Fagaceae). The leaves of both beech species actually look confusingly similar from afar. So are in summer green and inspire with a fresh green shoot. While the leaves of the hornbeam turn yellow in autumn, the beech assumes an orange color. On closer inspection, however, the leaf forms differ: The hornbeam leaves have a ridged surface and a double-sawn edge, the beech are slightly wavy and the margin is smooth.
The leaves of the hornbeam (left) have a ridged surface and a double-sawn edge, while the beech (right) are much smoother and have only a slightly wavy edge
Different site requirements for hornbeam and beech
Although the two beech species may look very much alike visually, they have different location requirements. Although both thrive in sunny to partially shaded spots in the garden, the hornbeam tolerates a bit more shade. And here ends the similarities: While the hornbeam is very soil-tolerant, on moderately dry to moist, acidic to calcareous sandy and clay soils and survives even short-term floods without damage, beech beech on acidic, nutrient-poor sandy soils nor on wet soils cope, On waterlogging they also react a bit sensitive. Even a hot, dry city climate they do not appreciate. The optimal soil for red beech is nutrient-rich and fresh with a high clay content.
Maintain beech hedges properly
What unites hornbeam and red beech is their strong growth. So that the beech hedge looks good all year long, it must be cut twice a year - once in early spring and then a second time to the beginning of summer. In addition, both are very cut compatible and can be brought in almost any shape. As with all deciduous hedge plants, the best season for beech hedges is autumn. And also the procedure at the planting is identical.
Step by step to the new garden border
For our hedge, we have chosen hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), 100 to 125 centimeters high, bare roots. This is the technical term for young, twice-transplanted deciduous shrubs. The number of pieces depends on the size and quality of the offered shrubs. One expects three to four plants per running meter. So that the beech hedge quickly becomes dense, we have decided on the higher number. That means we need 32 pieces for our eight meter long hedge. The adaptable, robust hornbeams are indeed deciduous, but in the autumn yellow, later brown foliage clings to the branches until the next spring. This keeps the hedge relatively opaque even in winter.
Start photo gallery
Plant beech hedge
A string stretched between two bamboo sticks sets the direction
Then remove the sods with the spade
Lift the planting trench. This should be about one and a half times as deep and wide as the roots of the hornbeams. Additional loosening of the trench sole makes it easier for the plants to grow
Remove bundled goods from the water bath and separate the cords
Shorten strong roots and completely remove injured parts. Important for the subsequent intake of water and nutrients is a high proportion of fine roots
Distribute the individual shrubs along the line at the desired planting distance. So you can be sure to have enough material until the end
The setting of the hedge plants is best for two. While one person holds the shrubs, the other fills the earth. In this way, distances and planting depth can be optimally maintained. Plant the trees exactly as they used to be in the nursery
When starting, slightly align the shrubs by gently pulling and shaking
Thanks to a strong cutback, the hedge branches well and is also in the lower area nice and tight. Therefore, shorten the freshly set hornbeam by about half
Thorough watering ensures that the earth covers the roots well and no voids remain
The conclusion is a four to five centimeter thick mulch layer of bark compost. It suppresses weed growth and protects the soil from dehydration
Then the finished hedge has optimal conditions to fully start next spring