Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Hedging your bets

Selecting a hedging species that is known to perform well in your local climate and soil conditions is most important.

The ultimate shape and height will determine the spacing of plants, Severe root competition and possible mortality will occur if too close, and longer to join up and form a hedge if too widely spaced.

However the more vigorous and quick growing the plant is, the more often it will need trimming.

Successful training of a hedge starts by clipping lightly at the end of the first growing season and clipping each year, never allowing growth of more than 45 centimetres. This allows a dense framework of branches to develop.

The most popular hedging plants include:

  • Buxus - Buxus sempervirens is ideal for edging paths, gardens and driveways planted at 10-15cm apart
  • Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus. Deciduous hedging which is adaptable to difficult conditions, able to tolerate summer heat and wind, still retaining the brown leaves through the winter.
  • European beech - Fagus sylvatica. Light green spring growth, rich brown autumn coloured leaves held within the hedge through winter.
  • Copper beech - Fagus sylvatica purpurea. The copper beech produces rich purple and red leaves in spring, purple bronze through summer and retained brown leaves in winter.
  • Portuguese laurel - Prunus lusitanica. Glossy green leaves with red stems trims very well to any shape and size.
  • Cherry laurel - Prunus laurocerasus. A vigorous glossy leafed evergreen, able to tolerate shade.
  • White cedar - Thuya occidentalis fastigiata. Evergreen conifer with a very tight upright habit, requires very little trimming.
  • Leyland’s cypress - Cupressus x leylandii. A very vigorous growing dark green conifer, suitable for exposed dry conditions, requires regular trimming.
  • NZ broadleaf - Griselinia littoralis. Glossy leafed NZ evergreen, tolerates salt winds.
  • NZ tarata or lemonwood - Pittosporum eugenoides. Quick growing glossy NZ evergreen, trims well without dieback.
  • Bay tree - Laurus nobilis. Dark green leaves, which clip well into a screen or hedge and suitable for coastal areas

Prunus laurocerasus

Macrocarpa hedges - Trotts
Gardens Ashburton

Cupressus macrocarpa

Mid-winter Fagus contrasted against Lonicera hedge