Using Conifers to Make a Hedge
To my mind a good conifer hedge cannot be bettered; being evergreen of course it is able to protect a house or garden from the onslaught of winter weather and it can be most useful as a screen for privacy or to hide some unsightly view. A conifer hedge should be planted much the same as any other conifer, but spaced at 75-90cm. apart, using a line to keep it straight. A thorough preparation of the planting ground is again essential, using at least a 1.25m. width of trench. Although it may mean waiting a bit longer to achieve a good hedge, it is usually advisable to buy quite young plants for hedges. There are two reasons for this—for one, it allows the plants to establish a stronger root system necessary to withstand the wind; secondly, it is much less expensive!
A useful rule to follow when choosing a particular hedge is to first decide how tall you wish it to grow. If you want an ultimate height of over 2 – 50m. then choose either xleylandii or . The former is undoubtedly the best conifer hedging because of its easy establishment on a wide variety of soils and its quickness of growth. Both the species mentioned of course become large forest trees if left to grow untrimmed and therefore if you want a hedge at about 1.85m. Then these are really too vigorous and will very likely resent being kept at this height indefinitely.
For a lower hedge it is better to choose some-thing slower growing such as, which may take much longer to reach 1.85m. Than the two conifers previously mentioned, but will be much happier remaining at that height.
The plants will probably not need trimming for the first year or two, and then only at the sides until the required height is obtained. Thereafter it will need trimming at least once a year. July is probably the best month to trim a conifer hedge as it is less of a setback to the plant at that time. It has also made its first flush of growth and can be tidied up, leaving several months for the “cuts” to heal, giving a healthy but neat appearance through the winter.