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Some of the regrowth has put on almost four feet since last year

Despite having dithered and rung my hands over hedgerow management in previous blogs, I took the plunge and cut my first section of new hedge last January. It seemed counterintuitive to cut down all the plants I had grown, and I wrote in detail about the work (and my reservations) here.

A little over a year later, I am absolutely converted to the joys of management. The thick, vigorous response from the hawthorn and blackthorn plants has been fantastic, and I enlisted my wife (above) to illustrate how much the trees have grown from their cut stems in a single year. I now realise that I should have cut them lower down so that the bushiness began almost at grass level, but this is no great tragedy in this situation where crucial shelter is provided by a dyke.

By contrast, most of my other new hedges run across open ground following fence lines. These young trees cannot fall back upon a dyke to break the wind and offer shelter, and they would be draughty, thin places at ground level without proactive management. I now plan to cut these more exposed hedges much lower or (as I would prefer) to lay and press them into thickness.


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