These Pleached Hornbeam trees were planted in a garden of a relatively newly built house to create a screen from overlooking windows and create a more private garden.
The area to be planted was quite restricted, so a clear stem was desirable to ensure lower, lateral branches were above head height. The narrow nature of pleached trees keeps the branches neatly compact and prevents them overhanging the neighbours garden.
The heavy clay soil meant we were limited in our choice of tree, Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) being the obvious choice. Furthermore the pleached trees were to be planted near a mature Oak and needed to be tough and fast growing.
Easy maintenance was also required. The pleached Hornbeam will only need a light trim twice a year, a formative pruning. Within a couple of seasons the result will be a tight compact ‘raised hedge’ with solid screening throughout the spring and summer months, perfect for when the garden is at maximum use. The leaves of Hornbeam will turn gold and then to brown in Autumn, with some leaves holding on the plant into the spring, providing partial screening. This was ideal in this garden as the owners wanted the trees to allow light into their ground floor windows during the darker winter months.