has few gaps and enough stems to lay to achieve a continuous length of hedge
has stems between 5cm to 15cm in diameter - however, it is possible to cut larger stems with a chainsaw
is tall enough to lay (at least 2.5m, and ideally 4m)
To undertake hedge laying successfully:
only cut using hand-tools (including chainsaws)
lay the hedge in the regional style
cut each stem as low as possible (no more than 10cm from the ground)
choose stems which when laid do not leave large gaps
protect the newly laid hedge from damage by grazing animals - rabbit fencing may be needed if local populations are high
leave as much side growth on the branches as possible
lay stems at an angle of about 35 to 45 degrees from horizontal
keep any existing trees and leave the occasional ‘standard’ hawthorn or other species if this fits in with the local landscape
keep deadwood where possible
plant up gaps using native species to improve the continuity of the hedge
Fencing may only need to be temporary and in place for as long as it takes the hedge to grow sufficiently.
Control competitive weeds (including brambles, nettles and grasses) during the first growing season. These weeds reduce the re-growth rate of the laid stems by competing for soil moisture, nutrients and light.
Encourage dense bushy growth of the newly laid hedge by:
trimming lightly for 3 years
never cutting back to the same point, but allowing the hedge to gradually increase in height and width by several centimetres at each cut
In following years the hedge can either be left to grow unchecked until it requires laying or coppicing, or be managed by trimming.