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The hedgerow

Click here to see my suggestion (with photos) for a hedgerow...

Low hedgerows are essentially comprised of hazel, hawthorn, sloes and spindle trees.
See decorative hedgerows. These hedges can be free growing or trimmed.

High hedgerows are from 6 to 15 metres and form "wind-breaks".They are usually comprised of oaks, chestnuts, hornbeams and elms.

  • Rowan, mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) :This can reach a height of 15 m. It makes a dense full hedge in any soil and is suitable for any position. To propogate, sew seeds under glass in autumn. 
  • Alder (Alnus) : This tree needs a light, humid soil. Propogation is by cuttings or seeds sown in autumn. It reaches an average height of 15 m.
  • Birch (Betula) : These trees or shrubs with their silver trunks are hardy and easy to grow. They can reach a height of 25 m. Propogation is by seeds sown under glass in springtime. Be careful to stake the young plants.
  • Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) : This tree is ideal as a windbreak because it keeps its foliage until the following spring. It can reach a height of 20 m. Propogation is by seeds or by grafting. The variety Carpinus orientalis is best for formng a hedge with arbours.
  • Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) : This tree has a slow growth. It dislikes a limestone or dry soil. Plant chestnuts during the spring in a sandy soil.
  • Oak (Quercus) : Three large species grow in France, the common oak ( quercus pedunculata)  the sessile oak (quercus petraea) and the downy oak (quercus pubescens). Chose a variety to suit your soil type. Plant some acorns in autumn and leave them in place. 
  • Maple (Acer campestre and palmatum) : These trees have a very decorative bark, foliage and shape. They like a a well-drained, but moist and cool soil. Propogate by seeds sown in autumn or by grafting in spring.
  • Ash (Fraxinus) : This fast growing tree tolerates all soils and is propogated from seed. Fraxinus ornus (manna ash) doesn't grow larger than 8 m and is ideal for a smaller garden.
  • Beech (Fagus sylvatica) : This tree is suitable for all free growing hedgerows. It can also be trimmed.
  • Cob-nut (Corylus avellana) : This is a shrub suitable for the hedgerow, it bears long yellow catkins, they are followed by the nuts which mature in September and October. Do not prune at planting. Prefers a humus-rich, but well-drained soil.
  • Walnut (Juglans regia) : This tree is unisexual but edible nuts are only produced after about 15 years. It is propogated by seeds or by grafting. 
  • European pear (Pyrus communis) : It grows everywhere in France and even the old wood is capable of giving young shoots. It is propogated by grafting.
  • Pommier (Malus communis) : With its white flowers it competes with the beauty of flowering trees. It needs to be pruned to obtain larger fruits. Plant different varieties of the species. It is propogated by grafting.
  • Plum (Prunus domestica) : This very hardy tree is cultivated everywhere without difficulty. There are self-fertile and non self-fertile varieties. For the mirabelle and the reine-claude, growing from seed is possible, otherwse from grafting.
  • Robinia (Robinia) :The robinia or false acacia can perhaps be used in small gardens because of its dense foliage on the grafted varities. Attention, this tree produces numerous thorny suckers... Its wood is ideal for fencing. To propogate, remove some suckers from around the trunk and plant under glass in autumn, plant rooted suckers in place in spring.
  • Snowberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus 'Whyte Edge') : This hardy shrub is also called the Indian currant. It is suitable for hedgerows. Its white berries borne in autumn are not edible. It has a tendancy to produce suckers.
  • Lime (Tilia) : This beautiful tree has a dense foliage and small delicately fragrant flowers. It can reach a height of 40 m.To propogate remove some shoots from around the trunk and plant them under glass in autumn, plant into place during the spring.
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