When Should Beech Hedging Be Planted?

It should come as no surprise that Beech Hedges (Fagus Sylvatica) are among the most widely used varieties of hedging in the UK. They originate from the British Isles and change with the seasons, cycling through a range of colorful, vivacious, and energizing hues as the year goes on.

From spring’s bright, fresh green foliage to summer’s darker, more inviting leaves. Then, in the fall, when the leaves change from a rich green to flaming oranges and copper browns, the true magic happens. Even more alluring is the possibility of keeping the beech hedge in leaf all through the harsher winter months with only a brief pruning in August or September.

It’s important to properly maintain beech hedges if you want them to grow into a beautiful screen. Even the beech hedge planting procedure is important.

How To Grow Beech

Beech Hedging

Although beech grown in pots can be planted at any time of the year, it is best to purchase and plant beech during the dormant season. Grow in full sun or partial shade with any appropriate drainage-friendly soil. To keep hedges in a nice form, prune them in late winter to early spring and trim if necessary in late summer.

Where To Grow Fagus Sylvatica

Beech may thrive on a variety of soils as long as there is enough drainage. Avoid coastal areas, hot, dry environments, and regions with soil that retains moisture.

Green-leaved beech may be grown in full sun or light shade. While yellow-leaved beech varieties do better in partial shade because full light may burn the leaf, purple beech colors are finest in the sun.

Be aware that beech, when grown as a conventional tree, is challenging to underplant due to its shallow root structure and tight canopy of leaf, which allows very little light through.

1. Choosing The Right Time To Plant The Beech Hedge

On a calm, cloudy day in late winter or early spring is the best time to plant your new hedge greenery. The ground shouldn’t be overly cold or moist.

2. Note Planting Distance In The Beech Hedge And Calculate The Number Of Plants Needed.

Planting between two and four seedlings per metre is known as row planting. Accordingly, you will want between 12 and 24 plants for a length of 6 meters. Usually, planting is done in a double row that is staggered. By doing this, your hedge will rapidly develop into a robust windbreak and privacy barrier. Five to seven plants are planted per metre in this instance while utilizing baled commodities. Goods in containers require a little extra room. In this case, four to six plants per metre are adequate. Additionally, keep at least 50 cm away from walls and property lines since tree roots have a great tendency to raise and break pavement.

3. Select Good And Healthy Plants For The Beech Hedge

When buying or receiving bundles of goods, do not be surprised if they appear more lifeless than living. Nevertheless, following sowing, healthy plants emerge rather fast. Plants should be healthy and at least 60 cm tall, whether they are in a ball or a container. Because bare-root plants, in particular, are delicate to cold and dryness and should be carried properly, special consideration should be given to the packaging in the case of mail-order plants. 

The plants stay in their packing or pots and are kept wet until planting. The tender young plants are housed in a safe, frost-free, yet unheated area. Container items may be stored for longer periods of time than bales, which should be buried as soon as feasible.

4. Preparing Planting Holes For The Beech Hedge

Beech trees require good, nutrient-rich, loose soil. Soil preparation is necessary before planting. Since the soil is still quite hard at planting time from the chilly winter temperatures, this is done in the preceding autumn. Continue as follows:

– Prepare the planting space by digging three times as deep as the root ball and adding compost or mature manure to the soil.

– All weeds are eliminated before to planting so that the seedlings are not forced to compete with them. The planting holes should next be dug. The planting hole is made somewhat deeper than the root ball’s height and two to four times wider than the root ball. A trench can be dug as an alternative. The soil is somewhat heaped up in the center.

5. Place Beech Hedge Plants In The Hole At A Suitable Depth

It is necessary to moisten bales of products for many hours prior. The roots are put in a pot with water to do this. Do not, however, leave the plants submerged in water all night. It might take too long for the roots to begin molding. The plants are then put on the mound in the middle of the planting hole after the damaged roots have been cut out. The mount is surrounded by cleverly arranged roots. Injuries are prevented since this is more in accordance with their normal growth. The root ball’s surface is flat with the top of the soil.

6. Fill Planting Hole With Soil

Soil is added to the planting hole until all of the roots are covered. Make sure the earth is not heaped up in the root region when doing this. The plants are unable to handle this and might possibly perish in the short term. The earth is forced into place after filling. The best thing to do is to set up a watering edge that is also pushed in.

7. Watering Beech Hedge Properly After Planting

When watering, the watering rim is extremely helpful. Water is put inside of it, which may then quietly seep into the earth where it is needed. Not merely because the plants are not yet rooted and have less access to water in the soil, watering is crucial. The main purpose of this is to remove air bubbles from the soil and allow it to settle.

8. Planting Beech Hegdes: Aftercare

After planting, cover the root zone with a thick layer of mulch, mature manure, grass clippings, or leaves. The young tree is shielded from the wind and pests by a protective cover for the trunk. Utilizing a plastic spiral tree guard is recommended. It develops alongside the trunk.

Advice On Buying Beech

– Beech is offered in a wide variety of sizes and costs. Plants used for hedging range in height from 30 cm to 1.8–2 meters. Bundles of ten bare-rooted plants are offered for sale. Although this does provide rapid screening, the most expensive option to purchase hedging is as ready-grown and trimmed “instant” hedging. You can also check out the artificial hedge green wall panels.

– Beech trees can also be purchased root-balled, bare-rooted, or year-round in containers (only whilst dormant)

– Buying bare roots beech online is the simplest option because plants are light and simple to package and ship from November to March. The more costly pot-grown beech is delivered by courier or on a pallet.

What Happens To Beech Leaves After Summer?

The fact that beech hedge retains the majority of its leaves during the winter is one of the factors that attracts many people to it. Even when the leaves are dead and brown, they still offer a thick covering that gives you solitude.

The leaves of beech species with green leaves should change in the fall from green to burned orange. Different color variations occur throughout the year in other kinds. For instance, the copper beech has purple leaves that become copper in the fall.

What Conditions Are Best For Growing Beech Hedging?

A soil that drains properly without being too dry is ideal for beech hedges. Their roots will decay in moist, heavy soils since they do not thrive there. For this kind of soil, a hornbeam hedge could be a preferable choice.

Some beech species, such the Dawyck purple beech, can only thrive in direct sunshine, whilst other beech species require some shade.

While plants in pots may be purchased at any time, it is better to put them outside in the winter or early spring to prevent them from drying out. Bare root beech plants will be available for planting in the winter.

Keep your plants hydrated for up to two seasons and space them between 18 inches and two feet apart. Although staking is not required, you might wish to set up some security if there are rabbits around.

Your hedge won’t require feeding, but if you want to accelerate development, you may add some blood, fish, and bones, or other similar feed from its second spring. After rigorous trimming, it’s a good idea to fertilize the hedge on all sides.

Arborcure, a team of qualified landscape professionals, can handle all of your requirements for beech hedging. This covers gathering, planting, and pruning.

FAQs When Planting A Beech Hedge

When To Plant Beech Hedge?

When it is most convenient for you to do so is the ideal time to establish a beech hedge. When you plant the hedge when it will benefit you most, you can focus on doing it appropriately. Buy pot-grown hedge plants if you wish to plant during unusual seasons of the year, such as the summer.

How To Plant Bare Root Beech Hedge?

Since bare root hedging has no soil root ball, it is important to plant it as soon as it is received in order to preserve the health of its roots. Keep bare root hedge roots moist until you’re ready to plant them to prevent them from drying out.

How Far Apart Should I Plant Beech Hedges?

This is based on how big the plant is when it is being planted. The ideal distance between beech plants is often approximately 30 cm. A larger room may be required for plants that have grown more maturely in pots.

How Quickly Do Beech Hedges Grow?

Beech hedges require a lot of water and maintenance to grow the fastest, reaching heights of 1 to 2 feet per year. With typical attention, it is most fair to anticipate development of roughly 1 foot.

How Should I Prune Beech Hedges?

A beech hedge should ideally be pruned after each flush, and in September is also a good time to do so to avoid winter leaf drop.