Hedge Laying Guide, Training & Resources




How to lay a hedge

Hedgelaying Tips & Tools

Hedge laying is always carried out in the Winter months whilst "the sap is down".

To start with the hedge layer clears the hedge of all rubbish such as deadwood, ivy and old fencing that has accumulated at the base of the hedge. The bottom of the hedge is cleared as much as is practicable to allow the sun in to encourage the growth of as many new shoots as possible.

Each individual tree is then pruned of large side branches and top heavy material. When this has been done the hedge laying may begin.

At the base of the trunk the hedge layer cuts into the stem at an angle until the remaining part of the stem is flexible enough to cut down. These stems or trunks are known as pleachers.

Whilst laying the hedge the hedge layer bangs in stakes (often made from coppiced hazel) at 18 inch intervals along the line of the hedge. The pleachers are laid into the stakes and as much as possible are woven into them.

The brush of the pleacher is placed one side or the other of the hedge sometimes both depending on the style of hedge being utilised.

After the hedge has been laid binders (sometimes called hethers) are woven along the top of the stakes to keep the hedgerow solid in a continual flow and to prevent wind damage.

Contractors charge for hedge laying by the meter and the price is very much likely to depend on the present condition of an individual hedge.

For a local hedge layer, try contacting the countryside department of your local council. Quite a number of Councils are also running hedge laying courses as the tradition enjoys something of a revival.

Hedging guide - hedglaying guide

Hedging: A Practical Handbook From the BTCV



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