Guides

Buying bare root hedging

Bare root hedging is available from November to March. It's far cheaper than container grown hedging plants, so if you're planning on planting a hedge, aim to do it in the winter to save money.

(Unfortunately, evergreen hedging isn't usually sold bare root, so this only applies to hedging that loses its leaves.)

Bare root beech hedging at the nursery
Bare root beech hedging at the nursery

How many do I need?

We recommend using four plants per metre, which you plant in a double staggered row. That is, like this:

Leave 50 cm between plants in a row, and about 40-45cm between the rows. See our guide to planting bare root whips.

Before ordering, you will need to measure the length you wish to plant in metres, then multiply this by 4 to find the number of plants required.

You may choose to pack in more plants, if you wish, which can create a thicker looking hedge sooner, but we don't think it's necessary to squeeze in more than four per metre.

If you only have a narrow space for the hedge, you might want to just plant a single row at three plants per metre:

Which size?

Hedging whips (whip-like young plants) are graded by height: 40-60cm, 60-80cm, 80-100cm, 100-125cm and 125-150cm (beech and hornbeam only). The smallest are the cheapest, so if you need a very large number of plants, this is the most economical way to do it. If you can spend a bit more, we recommend going for 60-80cm, which gives you a bit of an advantage over the smaller whips, in terms of growing time.

You may want even more of an impact, in which case you could opt for 80-100cm. These are also useful if you are filling in in a pre-existing hedge. The tallest whips, 100-125cm, will require support in the form of canes or stakes, so aren't the most practical choice if you have a lot to plant. Tying all those plants to canes is laborious!

What species are best?

Please see Choosing your native hedge species.

Picking up from the nursery

After ordering (online or over the phone), please give us at least 24 hours' notice before coming to pick up your plants, as we need to take them out of the ground and prepare your bundle. When you come in, we can help you load up. Many people are surprised at how little space the whips take up when bundled, so orders of 500 or more whips might fit in a car.

Ordering for delivery

As long as we have everything in stock, we aim to send out whips within four weeks of ordering - in fact they are usually with you sooner. Whips are delivered by our own delivery team - please see Delivery for more information.

Planting

Please see our hedge planting guide.

How long will it take for my plants to look like a hedge?

It can take about 10 years before those little whips knit together into a thick hedge, but it very much depends on the species. For example, hazel grows very fast, and hawthorn is also known as quickthorn, for the same reason.

If you need an instant hedge...

We may have bare root beech and hornbeam at heights of 1.5m/5ft+, which can be used to achieve a more instant look. If these are not in stock, please enquire about potted stock.

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