Neat Hedges

Cowmansam

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Shropshire
There’s a 2 old brothers in my village who must be 90 plus now have a garden hedge around a big one acre ish garden and it’s layed with the twisty style don’t know what it’s called but the whole hedge is like woven on a spiral it’s something I have to stop and look at as I walk past every time
 

Nearly

Member
Location
North of York
Having my own hedge trimmer gives me the chance to let some hedges slowly grow taller ( to keep prying eyes out) while trimming the sides to keep them solid.
Some hedges are left until after xmas to give the birds chance to eat the berries that thrive on 2nd year growth.
Gaps replanted with hawthorn and blackthorn are tickled in their 3rd or 5th year to encourage a bush to form.

I believe I can see the difference in hedge vitality and local small birdlife.
Now, where have I to hide the ladder trap this year?

Tidy is a matter of timing.
My hedges are rarely all done in the same season but when it suits myself and nature.

Neighbour was conned into paying to cut down and replant a hedge when all it wanted was some side shoots tieing in and trimming to 2m tall. He's had the hard word.

I still drive past a hedge that I helped Dad lay 40 years ago and a rabbit would struggle to get through it now. It did take 20 years to recover though. :D
 
Last edited:

ARW

Member
Location
Yorkshire
There’s some crap been talked on here!
the best hedges for everything is a good big tight hedge cut annually, a well established hedge will grow berries behind the cutting line, provide a great habitat and shelter for all.
They take little time to cut 1 year growth and the bits the machine can’t get that grows round poles and trees are full of berries

cutting bi annually and every 3 years with f**k your hedges up and they will loose the cutting line as it grows out, in year 3 it will be nothing but a huge crop of berries, however they will all be smashed up as it will need cutting that year or it will be out of control leaving with a line of stumps with no habit and no shelter. It will take years to recover to its former glory of an annual cut hedge
A2834F17-2388-429E-8294-7A191F8FEB56.jpeg
04E8833C-DF3F-4405-8D1A-4B93AEDEDEE0.jpeg

thats 3 year growth smashed to nowt
0AA8390D-6810-4D90-ACFB-AC6B60C6D085.jpeg

annually cut hedge

also anyone who thinks just cutting the sides and leaving the top, in a few years you will decide it looks shite and is a worthless line of sticks offering no cover and shadowing your fields and view. We have done this before for people and they always end up wanting them back to where they were.
 

feilding

Member
Location
Welshpool
There’s some crap been talked on here!
the best hedges for everything is a good big tight hedge cut annually, a well established hedge will grow berries behind the cutting line, provide a great habitat and shelter for all.
They take little time to cut 1 year growth and the bits the machine can’t get that grows round poles and trees are full of berries

cutting bi annually and every 3 years with f**k your hedges up and they will loose the cutting line as it grows out, in year 3 it will be nothing but a huge crop of berries, however they will all be smashed up as it will need cutting that year or it will be out of control leaving with a line of stumps with no habit and no shelter. It will take years to recover to its former glory of an annual cut hedge
View attachment 995308View attachment 995309
thats 3 year growth smashed to nowt
View attachment 995310
annually cut hedge

also anyone who thinks just cutting the sides and leaving the top, in a few years you will decide it looks shite and is a worthless line of sticks offering no cover and shadowing your fields and view. We have done this before for people and they always end up wanting them back to where they were.
Well said.👏👏👏👏
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I went on that enhancing hedgerow management thing , ffs what a mistake , took me 3 years to get them under control

I’ve only got one hedge under that scheme, a whole 130m in length, and where I can only cut one third each year. What a mess it is!

I only put it in as it’s along the side of a 0.5ac strip behind some houses, and about 30m away from the gardens. The enviro scheme allowed me to leave a strip of hedge to grow up and obliterate the view from one of the houses, where the owner wrote letters of complaint to me, and my landlord, when we spread lime on the fields behind, on a very calm day.
He also rings me annually, saved as ‘Moron from Montgomery’ on my phone, to complain that a lamb (just one, in a mob of 200 ewes and 400 lambs) is bleating behind his house and they can’t sleep.😡

He moved out a couple of months ago, so I can trim the hedges properly again soon.👍

Where it has been allowed to grow up it gets open and straggly, providing very little cover for hedgerow birds. When it is cut back into shape, it hammers the plants back hard, delaying regrowth.
hedges do grow very fast here though, much faster than they ever used to on a dairy farm in Gloucestershire and, I’d wager, much faster than they do in the prairies around Lichfield.;)
 

Nearly

Member
Location
North of York
@ARW if that rant was at me then I agree.
I wasn't explaining myself too well.
Everything is trimmed every year, but not all at the same time. The top of my yardside hedge only gains 6" in height every year from a foot plus of growth.
I'm not in any scheme and have taken a few years to get the thickness back into them since the Entry Level Scheme days. :(

The best hedge is trimmed twice a year outside the house but that may be too much for all the farm.
 

ARW

Member
Location
Yorkshire
@ARW if that rant was at me then I agree.
I wasn't explaining myself too well.
Everything is trimmed every year, but not all at the same time. The top of my yardside hedge only gains 6" in height every year from a foot plus of growth.
I'm not in any scheme and have taken a few years to get the thickness back into them since the Entry Level Scheme days. :(

The best hedge is trimmed twice a year outside the house but that may be too much for all the farm.
No not to you, just a rant I like to bore you all with!
its more frustrating that farmers have been encouraged to enter the schemes which are meant to increase wild bird food over winter but have actually just destroyed habitats and decreased the food. But hey what do I know cutting hundreds of miles of hedges annually seeing it all.
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
I understood that properly cut hedges encourage “middle growth” which wildlife need. To absorb CO2 and produce O2 plant some trees -
Lots of them on mountainous and hilly terrain.
We were always taught that a hedge should be trimmed more or less in an A shape minus the top triangle to allow light into the centre & also helps with narrow road hedges as upright cutting very quickly grows out & catches the tractors & lorries mirrors.
 

Walton2

Member
Hedges were always cut by hand, usually in June, with a slasher. That never seemed to bother the nesting birds….over hundreds of years!!
Hawthorn and blackthorn still produced berries that same year.
We are now told….by those that “know”…to cut them every 3 years…because years of only cutting them in the autumn has spoiled them.
 

Vader

Member
Mixed Farmer
Tricky balance. I have a lot of hedge in proportion to land area and have come to the conclusion that regular yearly trimming works best for me.
It has been suggested that I ought to leave some uncut each year to allow the fruit to form a winter bird food supply. The problem is to achieve that would require leaving a hedge uncut for 3 growing seasons. The result of that, I find, leaves a more open hedge and more smashed and damaged following that 3rd season flail. I also find that my old machine suffers less wear and tear on light growth. In the spring hedge regrowth is rapid when the autumn flail is less severe.
The hedges seem to provide good bird summer habitat and are more stock proof. I have left some large hawthorns to run into large tree-like bushes, particularly where there are not any other trees. Just my opinion.
I just cut top on some each year as that's the main growth
Leave the sides.
So get berrys on sides but keep top growth down so easily cut each year.
 
tidy as it looks it's not the most environmentally friendly practice really ? if you could double the height of a hedge you would double its ability to sequester carbon plus additional habitat

My view is as long as a hedge isn't encroaching on cropped area or a road safety issue they should be left alone
I would argue that the density of wildlife in a tight, well trimmed hedge is much higher than a tall leggy, unmanaged, open hedge. However, I would agree that a 10' trimmed hedge as opposed to a 5' one, as long as its 'trimmed' rather than hammered is a good thing. We do a lot of hedgelaying so I like to have 10' hedges with good width in anticipation of them being laid but it takes longer to cut and many see hem as shading their crops
 
if thats the case :rolleyes: how do you think they managed them before mechanised hedgetrimmers ?
There where hedges way before tractors.
I think a lot of hedges then were managed for firewood, but, it's hard physical work and we have less labour now on farms, but certainly I think management for firewood is the way to go, maybe tree shears have made it more of a viable option now.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer

"Hedgerows: A patchwork quilt across Devon​

Devon has more hedgerows than any other county in England. Line them all up, and they would span 33,000 miles."

:facepalm:

Mix of all types here some hedges are left for wind break or shade , some are laid , some are annual trimmed and some are cut at 2 or 3 years if it gets too wet and they werent done soon enough like when the pressure was upped when the 'later' trimming rule came in.

ime experience and talking as a farmer land owner tenant and ex. selfemployed contractors employee it makes not a lot of odds in the big picture of things as in the extreme if a hedge is let to 'go up' laying will bring it back to a youthful look .

big mix of soils here and
on the drier ground a lot of hedges dont grow much in 12 months,especially in a dry year so a pragmatic descion can be made at that point , to save costs leave that year to trim the next year , its natural that a contractor wont like less tractor work i suppose, nor will a machinery salesman but along with eco warriors i wont let my hard won long view observations be skewed by them :sneaky:

....now thats enough of this unproductive twaddle and off to trim some hedges, Lol.
 

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