• Hedging Guides

    Find The Right Hedging For You

    Knowing which type of hedging you need for the project or space you are working on can be a bit overwhelming. Planting hedging is a very easy job, whether it’s pot grown, bare root, cell grown or root balled, it’s the same principles; good ground preparation, plenty of space for each root, elimination of air pockets and plenty of water not just when the plants are going into the ground, but in the weeks following planting until the plants are fully established and able to fend for themselves.

    Here we have explained the different root types we supply. If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact us on

    or email [email protected] where a knowledgeable member of the team will happily talk through planting instructions and advise on species that would suit your needs.

    Know what your looking for? Why not Request a Bespoke Quote…

    Bare root hedging is literally a stem of varying height with a good root system underneath. Field grown and lifted in the winter months when the plants are dormant, bare root hedging which is often deciduous and therefore without foliage at this time, can look a little uninspiring on arrival. However, this type of hedging offers a real value for money option for hedge planting and will thrive when the spring comes.

    Bare root plants are only supplied when they are completely dormant, from early/mid-November and most sizes are available until mid-late May (exact dates depend on the weather). Plants used at the end of the season are put into cold store perfect conditions when they are deeply dormant in mid-Winter, to allow the extension of the season without detriment to the success rate, providing they are planted quickly on arrival and, as with all new hedging, kept well watered. Box bare root is the exception – it can be lifted in mid October through to April.

    Bare roots have the tremendous benefit of being very low cost. They are much cheaper to grow because they are planted only once and can then be left in the fields for several years rather than re-potting each year. They are also cheaper to deliver because we do not have to pay for the weight of the soil. There is though a certain failure rate – generally about 10% – (slightly more for Beech and Purple Beech) although you can improve the success rate to virtually 100% by planting with Rootgrow, and it’s worth bearing in mind that smaller plants are easier to establish.

    Root ball plants are grown naturally in a field (often for many years) and when ready for delivery, they are scooped out of the ground by a machine, which cuts a ball around the root which is then wrapped in a biodegradable hessian sack or a wire contraption (for the larger plants), both of which are left on the plant when planted and both decompose naturally. Many evergreen plants are sold as root balled, particularly large plants.

    Root balled plants are only available from late October to April – the success rate (which is good but not as good as Pot Grown) is enhanced if they are re-planted into their permanent positions before Spring arrives and planted with RootGrow. Customers who order root balled plants should ensure that they can plant out within a few days of delivery. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping large evergreens well watered and you should absolutely drench the planting hole and then drench again after planting and regularly (sometimes the winter weather helps!) throughout the whole of the first year after planting. Sometimes, root balls (particularly those over 1.5m) can defoliate or suffer from yellowing leaves when the first hot weather arrives in the first season after planting – this is just the plant being shocked by the heat and it merely needs plenty of water to help it to recover.

    Planting later in the season (March/April) is riskier than planting early in the season (October/November/December) and the risk increases with the height of the plant i.e. a 2.0m plant planted in March has a higher risk than a 1.0m plant planted in March. Equally it has a higher risk than a 2.0m plant planted in November. RootGrow helps a lot but even RootGrow won’t help a plant find water if there has been no rainfall and you don’t water them sufficiently. You’d think it wouldn’t happen when people pay a lot of money for lovely plants but we know otherwise!

    Growing in pots requires much more input from us with watering, weeding, feeding and annual re-potting. However, they have a very high success rate because the roots remain completely protected by the pots until customers re-plant them whereas inevitably there is some root damage to bare roots and root balled plants in the process of lifting them from the fields and delivery. Pot grown plants can be left in their pots for days or even weeks before being planted into the ground, providing they are kept watered. We sell evergreens, semi-evergreens and deciduous pot grown plants and the vast majority of them are UK grown.

    All our heights are quoted from the top of the pot upwards i.e. the height it will be when planted. Please make sure when you’re comparing prices on websites that you take the pot size into account and that you know for certain what height of plant you are going to receive. 

    Cell grown plants are an intermediate step between small bare root and small pot grown plants. They don’t have the root development and stem bulk of plants grown in 2 Litre (or larger) pots, but on the other hand, they are inexpensive.

    Instant hedging is what it says on the tin, it’s hedging that’s instant! Grown in troughs, instant hedging is comparatively more mature than a pot grown plant or root ball plant of the same height. If you’re looking for show garden quality hedging, you’ve found it.

    All instant trough grown pre trimmed hedging is irrigated and fertilised regularly so that it is in the best possible condition when it arrives with you. Our specialist growers use a growing medium which is light enough to make the troughs manoeuvrable but contains all the nutrients and goodness that the several plants in your trough will need. We use a varying quantity of plants in each trough depending on species as we know what will create the perfect hedge unit – this is usually 4 to 5 plants.

    We use only high quality plants in our instant hedge troughs; it is this, along with our years of expertise that gives us a fantastic success rate, top quality products and great prices.

    For information on Trees and Pleached Trees, please see our Tree advice section here…

    If you have purchased from us and are experiencing any issues, please see our plant problems page or alternatively please call us on 

    Sales & Advice  01257 494 073 Customer Service 01257 494 073