Planting bare root whips

Here is a guide to planting bare root whips and hedging.

In order to plant your tree you will need: a spade, a rabbit guard, a cane and some mulch.

Make sure the roots of the tree do not dry out. If it needs to be stored for a couple of days it can be left in the plastic bag in a cool place. If you need to store it for longer you should heel it in by covering the roots with soil.




Dig a hole large enough for the roots to spread out evenly. (About 1/3 bigger than the size of the roots.)

Backfill with soil, gently shake the tree up and down to work the soil around the roots firm around the tree in stages by treading with the heel.


Firmly press a bamboo cane into the ground next to the base of the tree. Starting from the bottom of the tree wrap the guard around the tree and cane making sure there are no gaps in the guard.

Finish off with some mulch to limit the weed growth at the base of the tree and you are ready to enjoy watching it grow.


Hedge Planting.
You would plant the whips for a hedge in the same way as you would any other whip (see Planting whips above) but the spacing is important. It is normal to plant a double row with 4 plants to the metre. You should leave a gap of 50cm between the trees in the same row and 40-45cm between the two parallel rows in a zigzag as shown above. If there is only room for one row plant 30cm apart.

Selecting a natural mixed hedge
Natural mixed hedges are mainly made up of Hawthorn and a selection from the following 14 species.
Alder Buckthorn/Rhamnus Frangula  Field Maple/Acer Campestre
Blackthorn/Prunus Spinosa    Guelder Rose/Viburnum Opulus
Crab Apple/Malus Sylvestris   Hazel/Corylus Avellana
Dog Rose/Cornus Sanguinea   Spindle/Euronymus Europeaus
Elder/Sambucus Nigra    Wayfarer/Viburnum Lantana
Goat Willow/Salix Caprea    Wild Privet/Ligustrum Vulgare


By Brian Holdstock on 13/03/2016

Any views of the merits of micorrhizal when planting?

By Simon on 16/03/2016

We don’t use it ourselves as we find as long as you choose the right plants and keep them free from grass and weed they take off well. So i can’t really advise I am afraid.

By Richard on 21/04/2020

When do you remove the rabbit guard?

By Simon on 25/04/2020

You would normally take them off once the plants have started to grow into each other and the stems are about 3cm across. Rabbits don’t tend to bother with older plants (other than fruit trees.)

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