Copper beech hedging

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karl66
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Copper beech hedging

Post by karl66 » Mon May 06, 2019 7:23 pm

I've got hold of some nice pot grown 5 litre plants, i plan on putting them against an existing fence but not in the near future so have temporary potted them up to 7.5 litre pots. I'm wondering whether I'll need to plant them in a double staggered row or single file?.


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Chad
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Copper beech hedging

Post by Chad » Mon May 06, 2019 8:05 pm

There is no reason to do a double row unless;
1. You will be 'laying it' rather than clipping it, or...
2. You need it to be stock proof [in which case you will need to lay it rather than clip it anyway].

Weeding double rows is much harder work until they are established. On a field scale brambles getting inside it actually helps, but seldom in the garden!

Old fashioned 'copper' beach is quite a subtle colour and easily accommodated in a garden setting.

The more modern 'purple' beach is a very strong visual statement and quite a bold choice on a domestic scale; do you know which you have got?

Chad


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Chad
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Copper beech hedging

Post by Chad » Mon May 06, 2019 8:07 pm

And as an after thought, planting against a fence is interesting.

Is the fence solid or open?

How far from the fence will they go in?

Chad


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karl66
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Copper beech hedging

Post by karl66 » Mon May 06, 2019 8:27 pm

Hi chad, thanks for reply. The exact type is fagus sylvatica purpurea. when they go in i'm thinking about 12 inches from solid featheredge fence which is six feet high...and hopefully letting beech grow about a foot above the fence height?.


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Chad
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Copper beech hedging

Post by Chad » Tue May 07, 2019 6:55 am

The distinction between 'copper' and 'purple' used to be upheld but here is Bean on the subject.

'Nowadays the horticultural trade (at least in the UK) seems rarely to uphold this distinction, and the vernacular names Purple and Copper Beech seem to be interchangeably applied to material sold under the names ‘Atropurpurea’, ‘Atropurpurea Group’, ‘Purpurea Group’, f. purpurea, var. purpurea, f. atropurpurea, etc. The name ‘Cuprea’ is rarely encountered, though distinctly copper seedlings frequently occur where green and purple parents grow together. Cultivars will be grafted and should show evidence of the graft union, where seedlings will not, in which case they should be referred to as f. purpurea, Atropupurea Group or Purple/Copper Beech according to taste.'

A hedge against a solid fence is a bit of a challenge; it will want to grow to the light and will tend to 'die out' on the lower levels of the dark side. Unless space is limited I'd plant much further out than you are thinking; 2 feet at least. Given that it will grow to the light it will need a firm hand with either initial staking or punitive pruning!

Chad


Chez2
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Copper beech hedging

Post by Chez2 » Tue May 07, 2019 12:21 pm

We have some beech in our mixed native hedging. We planted single row at the required spacing but I wished we had done a double staggered row to make it more solid close to the ground. We started with bare root which were just single stems, no branching. We trimmed hard each year so they grew bushy. They have since been cut right back down to three foot to retain a hedge rather than a hedge made from cut down trees.

If you want a hedge not lots of tree I would prune them back hard in autumn and plant double staggered row unless it doesn't bother you that the hedge stops a foot or two from the floor.

a foot from the fence is far too close. We cut ours hard back each autumn but it can grow considerably in width and height during that time.


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karl66
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Copper beech hedging

Post by karl66 » Tue May 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Many thanks chad/chez, I may be able to get 18 inches from fence at a push,i'm not to fussed regarding dieback on fence side as there's a gravel board and a five foot timber panel. I originally wanted some for right at bottom of garden but reading up on them they don't like clay especially if it retains water!. At present I plan on using a handful of them in between some evergreens such as taxus bacata and cherry laurel... they should keep them dry!.


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Chad
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Copper beech hedging

Post by Chad » Tue May 07, 2019 8:27 pm

If width is limiting you could pleach them.

Chad


Chez2
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Copper beech hedging

Post by Chez2 » Tue May 07, 2019 9:46 pm

I was going to suggest laurel but I hadn't looked up how they cope with clay. We started filling gaps in an older hedge with mature root balled laurel but then the neighbour put up a fence. The laurel is a good backdrop and I don't think it detracts from our cottage border which has been changed to a Beth Chatto gravel style garden (drought tolerant plants and agave etc) in September 2018. The laurel doesn't push against the fence as other hedging does, its much better with light pruning rather than tight hedge trimming if that makes sense.


GREVILLEAJ
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Copper beech hedging

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Tue May 07, 2019 10:07 pm

Ever thought of making your copper beech hedge a little more 'exotic'. If you space a few winter jasmine equidistant in the row and allow them to spread among the hedging the yellow flowers look great against the russet leaves that stay on the plant all winter.


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karl66
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Copper beech hedging

Post by karl66 » Wed May 08, 2019 5:51 am

Thanks grev,i've seen similar done before and it does look effective,i wont be lacking interest in the garden believe me!,also got portugese laurel eleaganus limelight to add colour.


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