Properties of Copper Beech Hedges.
A copper beech hedge is an ideal garden hedge. It is is a low maintenance, moderately fast growing hedge. The growth rate of a copper beech hedge is typically 1-2ft per year. It is not evergreen like Laurel Hedging or even Photinia Red Robin hedging and Although the leaves of a beech hedge turn to brown/golden colour in Winter, it will still retain a large percentage of the foilage on the plant until new growth comes in the Spring and pushes off the older leaves.
The Leaves of a copper beech plant are oval in shape, pointed at the tip and purple in colour. The beech plant turns darker in colour as the plant matures. Beech hedges prefer a moist nutrient rich soil but will do well in most soil types making beech hedges a popular choice with the Irish gardener.
Features of Beech Hedging
The stand out property of a Beech hedge is that it can be easily pruned. Pruning a beech hedge will encourage the hedge to become thicker and fuller, providing a more dense coverage. It is similar in texture or structure to Hornbeam hedging. An attractive addition of native trees mixed in through a copper beech hedge enhances the overall aesthetic of beech hedging in a garden. Native trees such as Oak, Silver Birch, Mountain Ash trees or even Lime trees can add depth and volume to an established green beech hedge.
Benefits of hedging to Biodiverstiy & Ecosystems.
Planting a hedge of any type, including copper beech hedges in the garden is a great way to encourage biodiversity and preserve ecosystems. A hedge in the garden provides shelter and security for nesting birds, caterpillars, aphids and other insects. Beech hedges also act as a network for small animals to move around the garden and populate.
When to Plant your Green Beech Hedge
Bare root Beech hedging plants are typically sown as bareroot plants in the Winter months from November through to March. Plants of 2-3ft are the most popular size for planting as the root systems are well developed and the plants are an ideal size for planting.
The first one or two years are the slowest with Beech hedging, but if kept clean and free from weeds, significant growth will be made in the later years.
Annual maintenance, pruning and trimming of a beech hedge will encourage growth and thicken the hedge. Pruning and trimming is usually done in the Spring, before birds begin to build their nests again for the Summer months.
Beech hedge plants are sold in pots, traditionally during Summer months. Plants that have been grown in pots but can be planted from pots all year round as the root system is well established.
Tips & Tricks for your Copper Beech Hedge
- Beech hedge plants are usually planted as bare root plants, at a frequency of 3 plants per metre roughly 1 foot apart and planted in a single row.
- Beech hedge plants can be planted in staggered double row with 5 plants per metre. Planting 5 plants per metre will give a thicker hedge over time.
- Keep the beech hedge clear of long grass and weeds in the first few moths to promote growth and a thicker, fuller hedge.
- Copper Beech hedging plants should be watered if planted in late Spring and there is a period of drought in the proceeding months.
- When planting It is best to dig a trench 8-9 inches deep, breaking up and aerating the soil.
- Place the plants in the trench, covering the root system up to the collar of the plant. Shovel back in the soil and walk the plant in to anchor it in the ground.
After Care of your Copper Beech Hedge Plants
- If windy weather follows the planting, walk in the plants every few days to anchor plants in the ground and ensure roots embed into the soil securely.
Type: Average to Fast Growing in nutrient rich moist soil
Status: Hardy in cold weather
Position: Sun or light shade
You can view our You Tube Video on how to grow Beech hedging by Clicking here.