The main types of hedges, their advantages and disadvantages. What plants to choose, recommendations for planting, pruning and caring for seedlings. A hedge is a dense linear plantation of shrubs and trees for fencing and decorating the territory. The fence has become widespread among the owners of summer cottages and mansions, despite the complexity of its cultivation. We will talk about the technology of creating a hedge of various functional purposes in this article.
Features and types of hedges
Plant hedges are found everywhere - in public gardens, parks, dachas, near mansions. They are used to emphasize the boundaries of the territory, as well as to delineate functional areas.
To create them, various types of plants are used, which have their own advantages:
- Conifers … They look beautiful at any time of the year. They emit a huge amount of phytoncides that have a beneficial effect on humans. However, such trees grow slowly, and you will have to wait for a full-fledged fence for years.
- Deciduous … They have a variety of colors and stretch very intensively. Their advantages include quick recovery from damage.
- Decorative … They are able to decorate the wall for a long time, but it is necessary to constantly deal with formatting the hedge.
When buying plants, look for plants that do well in the area. Buy unpretentious, quickly recovering trees after cutting, which sprout numerous shoots.
Plant fences are classified according to several parameters that determine their applicability. The functional responsibilities of the hedge, depending on the size of the bushes and trees, are as follows:
- Height up to 1 m … Designed to mark the border of flower beds, flower beds and lawns. Such a hedge requires compact, slow-growing, small-leaved shrubs and trees. Some of them require constant care (Japanese euonymus, brilliant honeysuckle), others can be left free-growing (mahonia, heather). The width of such a strip is no more than 30 cm.
- Height 1-2 m … Suitable for dividing the site into functional areas. Shrubs and small trees can be used. For such purposes, hawthorn, barberry, western thuja are purchased.
- More than 2 m above the ground … They are used for enclosing large areas. Do not let wind and dust to the site, reduce noise. Spruce, linden, white willow are suitable for creating a plantation, but hornbeam is considered the best. He has a high degree of shade tolerance, dense foliage that lends itself well to shaping.
Varieties of hedges for haircuts:
- Formed … With the help of shearing, the plantings are given some kind of geometric figure, so the plant should have small, densely spaced leaves. Fast growing species are not suitable for trimmed fences.
- Free growing … The trees and bushes that make up the hedge are never trimmed, they lengthen in all directions.
The difference in hedges in the order of planting:
- Single row … The trees are arranged in one line at an equal distance between themselves. Shrub sprouts are buried at a distance of 30-50 cm, trees - 75-150 cm.
- Multi-row … They are planted in several lines, in 2 or 3 tiers. Arrange the trees in a checkerboard pattern. The planting step is chosen according to the size of the crown and the height of the plant.
Advantages and disadvantages of a hedge
A hedge in the country has many advantages. It looks no worse than capital buildings, and it has much more advantages.
The following positive aspects can be distinguished:
- The planting looks very aesthetically pleasing.
- The environmental factor is of great importance. Plants additionally produce significant amounts of oxygen and essential oils.
- It is possible to change the appearance of the fence at the discretion of the owner.
- To create a fence, you need a minimum of financial investments.
- Beautiful plants have a calming effect on people, they are useful for the nervous system.
- The hedge protects from prying eyes only that part of the site that its inhabitants choose.
- The fence can change the landscape design of the territory.
- A high guardrail protects against dust and wind. If you plant the plants from the side of the road, there will be less smoke from cars on the site.
A living fence can also bring additional hassle to the owners. Plants require constant maintenance, which is too burdensome for some. The second inconvenient moment is that the cultivation of such a plantation takes a long time.
How to make a hedge on the site
To create a fence from plants, it is necessary to take into account many factors: the composition of the soil, its moisture content, the shape of the crown, the peculiarities of planting and care, etc. Brief information about the principles of planting formation is given below.
Features of the choice of plants for hedges
Consider the most famous types of hedges:
- Typical impassable hedge … Grown from shrubs of the same species. The seedlings are placed very close in several rows. To increase the density, the branches are periodically trimmed. For soft impassable plantings, they buy alpine currants, chokeberry, elderberry, etc. Thorny fences enclose the site more reliably. To create them, you will need rose hips, blackberries, thorns, etc.
- Evergreen hedges … Such plantings for various purposes are grown from spruce, thuja, juniper.
- High hedges … Obtained from those trees that quickly recover after pruning: linden, maple, apple, etc.
- Flowering hedges … They are formed from shrubs with beautiful flowers: barberry, rose hips, roses, etc.
The most common shrubs and trees for creating hedges are:
- Hawthorn … An unpretentious shrub that takes root in any area. In autumn, its leaves turn color, providing a festive mood. Also has brightly colored berries.
- Barberry … Does not need soil preparation. Leaves on one bush can be variegated. It has very beautiful flowers.
- Yellow acacia … Grows up to 5 m from the ground. Several dozen species are known, each of which has individual qualities. Has a dense crown. Does not require special care, it recovers even after a complete cut. Propagated by seeds, so it is not difficult to remove the fence from the territory.
- Cotoneaster … It tolerates a haircut well. It has a dense crown with dark green leaves that turn red in autumn. Fruits in a huge amount of fruits hanging on the bush for a very long time.
- Juniper … It grows up to 3 m. Does not bloom, but pleases the owners with green color all year round.
- Thuja … The most popular tree among conifers. It can reach a height of several meters. It is easy to give the krone any shape.
General requirements for the formation of hedges
The fence is successfully formed if the peculiarities of the plants are taken into account when planting. Saplings 3-6 years old are suitable for the plan. They must have a developed root system that will allow them to quickly take root in a new place. Quality seedlings can be purchased from nurseries or specialist stores.
The landing procedure is as follows:
- Examine the site and select plants that do well in your area. The fence should be located far from buildings and at a distance of at least 1.5-2 m from a blank fence.
- Before making a hedge in the country, study the illumination of the site, the composition of the soil and the proximity of the water. It is also important to know at what time of the year it is best to transplant the selected plants. Most often this is done in the spring, when the soil is slightly dry. Winter-hardy species are buried in the fall. Seedlings in containers - at any time of the year.
- Remove all weeds in the area where the work is planned. To do this, dig up the soil and manually collect the unnecessary stems along with the roots. A good solution is to apply a herbicide such as Roundup.
- Examine the composition of the soil. Add sand to clayey soil, loam to sandy loam, and peat to alkaline soil. Add lime if necessary to increase acidity.
- Stretch the cord where the hedge will be located and secure it with pegs.
- Dig a trench to a depth that is suitable for the plant in question. Usually 0.5 m is sufficient. The width of the ditch is 50 cm for one row, 90 cm for two rows. Loosen the bottom of the pit, fertilize the soil.
- Sprinkle soil over the plant and compact it. Do not bury bushes less than 20 cm deep.
- The distance between the trees depends on the characteristics of the given species. Recommended density of seedlings per running meter: shrub up to 1 m high (mahonia, spirea) - 5-7 bushes, 1-2 m high (cotoneaster, snowberry) - 4-5 bushes, bushes and trees over 2 m high - 1 plant …
- When planting a hedge, keep the soil well moistened and fertilized.
Do not make a hedge under large trees, after a few years they will be inside the planting. Only shade-loving plants can be planted in the shade.
Planting rules for coniferous seedlings
In order for the seedlings of coniferous trees to take root well, remember our recommendations:
- Buy plants only in special containers. In them, the root system is preserved for a long time without drying out.
- It is recommended to buy 3-4 year old trees for planting.
- For seedlings, prepare holes with a diameter of 2 times the size of the root.
- Add compost and fertilizer to the excavated soil. Pour a small amount of the mixture into the bottom of the pit. Do not fertilize conifers with manure.
- Immediately before planting, carefully remove the seedlings from the container so that the soil does not crumble, and transfer to the pit. Fill the hole with soil.
- Water the plantings abundantly. You can pour two low ridges along the entire row so that the water stays in the right place.
How to plant deciduous trees
Planting deciduous trees is done as follows:
- Buy 2-3 year old plants from the nursery.
- Seedlings of short and medium-tall plants are sold with a bare root system, so they cannot be kept outdoors for a long time. You can save the roots by dipping them in a humid environment, for example, in a bag with wet sawdust.
- Inspect the root system before burying. If any defects are found, cut off the damaged elements. Rinse the roots and leave in water for several hours.
- Prepare a hole large enough to match the hole the seedling was in earlier.
- Mix the removed soil with fertilizer and pour a little on the bottom of the pit. To improve survival, prepare a clay and mullein mash and dip the roots in it for a few minutes.
- Place the seedling in the hole and cover it with earth, controlling the absence of voids near the roots.
- If the plant has a high trunk, drive a 0.5 m high stake next to it and tie a tree loosely to it.
How to plant large shrubs
High quality shrub seedlings are placed in containers, which allows them to be stored for a long time. The holes are dug according to the size of the root system and the earthy clod left after removing the container. Place the plant in a hole, cover with soil and water.
Plant large shrubs in a trench that is about a meter wide and does not exceed 0.5-0.6 m deep. Loosen the bottom to a depth of 20 cm, then add peat, manure or humus and mix everything. It is recommended to pour a little lime, wooden ash under the trees. Don't forget to apply phosphate fertilizers.
Pruning plants and forming hedges
It is necessary to prune trees throughout the entire operation of the fence. This allows you to multiply the number of shoots and form a hedge. Leave the width of the strip within 60 cm, otherwise it will be difficult to care for it. At the bottom, the hedge should be wide, especially in evergreens. This is due to the heavy load from the snow that settles on the branches.
Pruning is recommended in early spring, before the greenery appears. Conifers can be cut in late autumn.
Plant seedlings for hedges are pruned in this way:
- Prune deciduous trees, leaving 10-15 cm above the ground for multi-stem plants, slightly more for single-stem plants. This is how the growth of shoots from the earth itself is provoked.
- If the trees are sold with a bare root system, their aerial shoots are cut in half.
- Plants sold in containers are cut to 1/3 of the height.
- The next year, the seedlings are pruned up to 4 times between May and August. Thus, a certain geometric shape of the fence is formed.
- Some shrubs (hawthorn, tamarix) are cut off almost completely, leaving only 15 cm of sprouts above the ground.
- Only 2/3 of new shoots are left on beech, hornbeam, cotoneaster.
- In juniper, cherry laurel, cypress, only individual branches are removed, which spoil the appearance of the hedge.
- After 2-3 years, a haircut is performed to keep the fence in a neat condition: the side shoots are cut off, the upper part of the fence is leveled.
For the procedure, you will need a special tool and string. It is stretched at a predetermined distance from the ground and serves as a guide during the operation. Plants with large leaves are treated with shears from the bottom up.
Evergreen trees or shrubs with small leaves are pruned with power tools or scissors. Special cutting devices allow you to create any shape.
Consider an example of forming a trellis fence. Such a hedge looks like a dense, narrow strip. It can be created from seedlings of yellow acacia, mountain ash, hawthorn. If you use roses, then you can decorate any blank fence with a trellis hedge.
The main condition is that the plants are planted at a distance of 20 cm from each other. The optimal width of the trellis fence is 30 cm, and the height is determined by the owner of the site.
Features of the formation of a hedge:
- The next year after planting, cut off all branches, leaving 10-15 cm above the ground.
- After another season, cut off the shoots thoroughly, leaving only the strongest and most developed.
- Interlace them at a 45 degree angle.
- Cut off the bark where the branches touch. As a result, they should form a diamond pattern.
- To save it, mount a temporary wooden frame next to it, to which you fix the shoots.
- Cut off all lateral processes 2-3 times a year, and leave the vertical ones, stimulating their growth in the desired direction.
The subtleties of hedge care
Plant hedges need more attention than any other fence. This is due to the fact that they constantly require watering, cutting, fertilization. Without periodic mowing, bushes and trees can grow so much that it will no longer be possible to refine the fence. We'll have to cut everything to its initial state.
Keeping your hedge in good condition requires constant watering. Before the procedure, loosen the ground on both sides of the planting by treating a strip 50-70 cm wide along the fence. Direct the water jet from the hose directly to the base of the seedling. Moisture should penetrate into the ground to a depth of 30-40 cm. Usually the fence is watered 2 times a year, in spring and autumn. The rest of the time, the plants have enough water, which they independently get from the soil.
Trees and bushes should receive a sufficient amount of mineral and organic fertilizers. Their volume and proportions are different for each species. Mineral fertilizers are applied to the soil at different times of the year: nitrogen fertilizers in early spring, phosphate fertilizers in early autumn. For all plants, the following top dressing will be useful: potassium salt - 30-49 g, superphosphate - 50-70 g, ammonium sulfate - 50-70 g. For poor soils, fertilizers are applied every year, in other cases - once every 3 years.
Cut branches can be used to grow seedlings to create new hedges or to replace dried plants. Perform the following operations:
- Find the right cuttings. Twigs with 3-4 interstices will do. This amount is optimal for rooting. If there are more of them, the seedling will not take root well due to the small amount of nutrients in it. Cut the bottom at an angle. Make the upper cut straight.
- Remove the bottom leaf. A root will begin to form in its place. The rest of the leaves can be left if they are small, or removed if they are large. Thus, we reduce the loss of moisture from the cuttings at the initial stage of the seedling engraftment.
- Place the branch in the pot until roots form. To speed up the process, you can use a special tool - heteroauxin. A good root system is formed in 1, 5 months.
- After that, the seedlings must be cut open, and after 2 years the trees are ready for transplanting into open ground.
How to make a hedge - watch the video:
Even rows of plants look very nice, but creating a hedge with your own hands is not easy. The fence constantly needs pruning, feeding, watering, but such work only brings pleasure. The owner feels like a real artist, decorating the site at his own discretion.