problem with copper beech hedge

Janet O Grady asked 12 years ago

I planted 140 copperbeech hedges in 2007 but 110 didnt take, garden centre replaced them and I replanted them in dec08, but again 65 didnt take, planting them all the same way good base with compost, 1ft apart and zigzag formation against a post and rail fence with wire. I’m very dissapointed,and I’ve no idea what to do next. I had planted all this hedge to encourage the local wild life and I was willing to wait the years it would take to grow and fill out, but its very expensive and labour intensive to keep replacing dead plants. It seems odd that some of the plants take but others dont. Should i try a different type of plant, any suggestions?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 4 years ago
Beech can be difficult to get established because it has fine roots that are easily damaged by either drying out or too wet soil. It is often planted as large plants, but it is easier to establish from small plants.

Pot grown, plants of 60-90 cm height will take much better that bare-root taller plants, and they are much cheaper. Bare-root plants, freshly lifted, take better than those which have been lifted, and healed in, for a time.

Beech will not grow in wet soil, and also dies off if planted too deeply, a common mistake. The top of the root ball must be at soil surface level. The plant is also susceptible to drought when leafing out in spring and may need watering. Often young beech makes roots the first year and the top does not grow until the second.

 It is common to have to re-plant some misses with beech, but about 10% would be the most that it should be.