Plant beech hedge


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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.

young leaves of a hornbeam

Leaves of a beech

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.

Tension the string

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Plant beech hedge: hedge

Plant beech hedge: beech

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Plant beech hedge

Plant beech hedge: hedge

A string stretched between two bamboo sticks sets the direction

Plant beech hedge: hornbeam

Then remove the sods with the spade

Plant beech hedge: beech

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

Plant beech hedge: hedge

Remove bundled goods from the water bath and separate the cords

Plant beech hedge: hornbeam

Shorten strong roots and completely remove injured parts. Important for the subsequent intake of water and nutrients is a high proportion of fine roots

Plant beech hedge: plant

Distribute the individual shrubs along the line at the desired planting distance. So you can be sure to have enough material until the end

Plant beech hedge: hedge

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

Plant beech hedge: hedge

When starting, slightly align the shrubs by gently pulling and shaking

Plant beech hedge: hornbeam

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

Plant beech hedge: beech

Thorough watering ensures that the earth covers the roots well and no voids remain

Plant beech hedge: hedge

The conclusion is a four to five centimeter thick mulch layer of bark compost. It suppresses weed growth and protects the soil from dehydration

Plant beech hedge: plant

Then the finished hedge has optimal conditions to fully start next spring

Tension the string

Remove sods

Dig out the trench

Separate cords

Shorten strong roots

Spread shrubs along string

Use hedge plants

Compete on the ground

Shorten the hornbeam

Water the earth

Distribute mulch layer from bark compost

fully planted beech hedge

Video Board: How to Plant a Bare Root Hedge.

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