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Hawthorn hedging out of control - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Livestock & Forage' started by X344chap, May 14, 2018.

  1. There a few that lay hedges around my way,
  2. WRXppp

    WRXppp Member

    North Yorks
    We had a hedge like this and we cut it down about 18 inches from the ground, cut at a 45 degree angle so rainwater runs off the stump. After 3 years the regrowth is around 5ft tall and the gaps filled with a hedgerow mix. Best to do this in winter of course!
    Keep the trunks for a year and then log up, the best burning wood you will ever have, long lasting, little ash and the heat of coal.
  3. Old Boar

    Old Boar Member

    West Wales
    If you are thinking of laying it, buy some welding gloves. The thorns go through everything else...
    primmiemoo likes this.
  4. brigadoon

    brigadoon Member

    This ^ - done a couple of lengths - once past 20 year old they are difficult to lay and tend to break but as long as you can keep the stock away the stumps will regrow but cut them on a slant as decribed above - if you do try to lay it and it breaks off just clean the stump with a sloping cut
    Princess Pooper likes this.
  5. X344chap

    X344chap Member

    Central Scotland

    i thought it was indestructible as well - here is a pic of an attempt to cut a bit down to size a few years ago. Any idea why it just died? DSC_0123.JPG
  6. Kidds

    Kidds Member

    Too dry under that tree
    Grassman likes this.
  7. Pasty

    Pasty Member

    I once did a hazel hedge ( a few meters) at the bottom of my garden which was overstood. I cut all the small stuff off and got the trunks down to about 4 foot, sawed them 7/8ths through at about 6 inches and lay them into each other. Worked a treat.

    Another option might be to plant up the gaps and coppice those shoots at a year old so they bush up and then pollard the big threes at 4' or whatever height is easy to work at. Or just flatten the lot as said and plant new ones in the gaps. You might even be able to use some of the sun shoots from the tops for new plants. Not sure how that goes with hawthorn.
  8. Dont buy welding gloves, there are much better gloves which are thorn proof and last 10 times longer than welding gloves.£25 but last forever.
  9. Those stowells look very old, there seems to be very little sign of young growth. If I have a hedge which I have let grow up with a view to laying,I will cut the sides hard a couple of years before I lay it. This will often stimulate new growth from the base which you can then lay.
  10. The sheep dipper man

    north east
    Yes I agree cut it off at ground level
  11. JD-Kid

    JD-Kid Member

    had some here cut out due to being a weed in nz
    if stumps not treated most will regrow not all tho so may need to replant

    wood is ment to be very hot and will melt low grade irons blacksmiths used it a bit bigger bits maybe in demand from some wood turners
  12. The "polite and PC way" to describe what you need to do is "Coppicing". In other words as others have said, cut off at ground level, stand back and be amazed after 2-3 years!! NE or their predecessors, paid a modest sum for this sort of work a few years ago...

    I have been bringing down to size (around 5ft), a number of very large and tall hedges here with a lad and a shear cutter on a 14t 360, and next winter, he will be also be coppicing a 300m length for me. Work rate is excellent and the debris is piled out of the way for easy collection. Some stumps need a chainsaw afterwards to tidy up the rough cuts, but is the work on minutes as opposed to days!
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  13. X344chap

    X344chap Member

    Central Scotland
    Its heavy clay ground and you can see the soft rushes in the field - its quite wet.
  14. X344chap

    X344chap Member

    Central Scotland
    Is timing critical? I.e. you must do this when the hawthorn is dormant over winter?

    I understand the point about birds nesting etc - tbh - i know there is no bird life in the hedge because its so thin and straggly i can see straight through it. There are no nests in this hedge but i am happy to wait until winter.

    I cant cut the hedge down to ground level as there is cattle in the fields. Fencing consists of 2 strands of barb nailed into the hedge with some posts in the gaps.
  15. mo!

    mo! Member

    Coppice and fence properly. Best time to coppice is with frost on the ground, less mess clearing up then.
  16. joe soapy

    joe soapy Member

    Get a local college to run a course using your hedge.

    In Plymouth at the airport, sycamores i think, they cut the trunks partly through, then drove a big swing alongside with the arm at rightangles and knocked them all down.
    Result 1 instant laid hedge..

    Or get a decent trimmer in

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