It is now two months since we planted the new hedgerow on Tullamore Farm.
The hedgerow is mainly whitethorn, with some holly, oak, guelder rose, dog role and willow plants scattered through it.
The hedgerow was planted in early February. Plastic was laid down to prevent weeds getting through and competing with the hedge.
This plastic will need to be maintained until the hedge grows another bit. Plants to be kept as trees were covered with some drainage pipe.
Pruning the hedge
Once the hedge was planted and the plants to be allowed grow as trees were covered, the remaining plants were cut to a height of three inches off the ground. This is an important part of hedgerow management people are often wary of.
They are afraid to cut the plant for fear that it will not grow back, but this is actually a very important part of hedge planting, as the plant grows more branches once it is clipped.
This makes the hedge nice and thick at the bottom.
If the plants aren’t clipped, the hedge will most likely have a gap at the bottom and this will not provide good shelter for animals.
The thicker the hedge, the better shelter and stock-proofing it will provide and it can also help to increase the carbon storage of the hedgerow.
Whitethorn plants are very good at creating new buds and branches. These plants will be pruned again next winter when growth has stopped.
The branches which grew this season will be clipped back.
So where there were three buds this year, there might be 10 next year and this process will continue as the hedge fills out.