As the warmer weather approaches, garden hedge maintenance moves to the top of the to-do gardening list. But how do we keep these plants healthy and beautiful? Well, there are specific steps, depending on what type of plants you have, that should be taken, as well as...
Frequently Asked Questions
How to decide between potted hedging, bareroot hedging or rootball hedging?
- Potted hedging is suitable for year-round planting. The root system is established in the compost and is therefore suitable for planting at any time of the year.
- Potted hedging costs more as there is more labour and materials involved.
- Potted hedging also tends to be hungrier at the start, when planted in the ground.
- Potted hedging is more suited to plants with delicate root systems.
- Bareroot Plants are more cost-effective products.
- Bareroot plants are planted from November to April.
- Bareroot plants are lifted out of the ground fresh from order delivered to your door.
- Our plants are supplied in lined bags which helps preserve the plant during transport and storage, however, we recommend you transplant them as soon as possible.
- Smaller bareroot plants are less expensive, the hedge will be stronger as a final product but will take longer.
- Larger plants are more expensive but give an instant effect and thrive as they do not have as much competition from weeds.
- Root ball hedging is more expensive as the plant and root system is well established.
- Root ball plants are netted after lifting, delivered to your door, and should be transplanted into the ground as soon as possible.
How and when to plant a hedge or tree
- Bareroot trees and hedging are planted when they are dormant. Bare root season runs from November to April in Ireland.
- Potted trees can be planted all year round as the root system is intact.
- First, prepare the area. Mark out where each plant is going. If the area is overgrown, cut the grass, this makes planting easier.
- We recommend trees are planted at least 2 metres apart.
- We recommend hedges are planted 30cms apart for a good thick hedge.
- Rule of thumb for hedging is 3 plants per metre.
- Staggered rows look more natural in some cases, such as beech or whitethorn hedging.
- Using a spade, dig a sod out of the ground, turn it over and chop into it.
- Dig the hole slightly wider and deeper than the roots of the plant. Loosen the soil around the edges.
- Put the tree in the hole and check the depth. Look for the collar – the mark on the tree where it originally started to grow above the ground.
- This should be level with the top of the soil. If your tree is planted too deep, the stem may rot; too shallow and the roots above the ground will die.
- Hold your tree upright and gently push back the soil, pressing it down onto the roots.
- Don’t compact the soil as this will stop water and air circulation, but make sure your tree is secure.
- With bigger trees, for e.g 5 – 6ft trees, best to include a stake and tree tie to secure the tree from wind.
- Hedging plants do not require stakes and ties.
How to introduce Biodiversity into your garden
Planting indigenous native trees and hedging in your garden is a wonderful way to enhance Biodiversity, encourage Biosecurity, preserve wildlife and maintain ecosystems. Native trees and hedging provide shelter, food and protection for so many different species of birds, bees, butterflies, caterpillars, ladybirds and insects in our ecosystem. An oak tree alone can provide for over 326 different species of wildlife, including 257 different species of insects.
Hedges offer food in the form of leaves, nectar-rich flowers, berries, fruits, seeds and nuts, and are also good hunting grounds for predators seeking insects and other invertebrates. Beech and laurel hedging make natural windbreaks, creating shelterbelts in the garden, which is particularly important for butterflies. A dense evergreen hedge such as Laurel, Privet, Griselinia and Holly provide an important habitat for nesting birds in Winter months. Mixing native plants such as Spindle, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn and Blackthorn allows wildlife to move to different parts of the garden, thus providing food, shelter and breeding opportunities for more species of birds and insects.
Native Trees are also excellent sources of food and a haven of shelter for many species of wildlife. Catkins on Alder, Silver Birch and Hazel provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees. The leaves provide food for caterpillars and the tree structure provide habitats for hole nesting birds. Berry producing trees such as Rowan, Native Cherry, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn and Holly provide an essential food source to birds.
Our favourite Native Irish Tree
“He that plants trees, loves others besides himself”
Here at Cullen Nurseries, our favourite tree is the Oak tree. We are so fond of it, we planted 3 in our garden to symbolise the birth of each of our sons. We have also used it’s leaves in our company logo.
The Oak tree is the National Tree of Ireland and is a symbol of knowledge and strength. It is considered the King of the Forest and can live for over 300 years. It is believed to provide one of the most durable timbers on the planet. An oak tree never stops giving.
Oak trees can provide for more wildlife than any other tree. It can support 326 different species of wildlife, including 257 different species of insects. These insects are a source of food for birds and other predators. It’s acorns are eaten by birds and mammals and it’s leaves by caterpillars.
It also makes a stunning addition and centre piece to any garden. Hopefully, now you can see why we chose the oak tree to represent the birth of our Kings of the Forest!