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How to plant bare root hedge plants

Learn about bare root hedge plants, along with instructions on how to ‘Notch plant’ small bare root plants.

How to plant a bare root hedge

  1. Storage

    If you don’t intend to set the hedge immediately upon arrival, store the plants in a cool, frost free shed or garage.

  2. Planting Preparation

    When planting out, do not remove the hedging plants from the box or bag. Exposure to sun or drying winds may lead to root desiccation and eventual failure.

  3. Planting Method

    Do not dig huge planting pits that require laborious backfilling. If the soil is reasonably good, use the ‘notch’ planting technique. Push your spade 4-6″ into the ground, open up a wide slit and place the root in at the nursery soil mark.

    Be sure to ‘heel in’ very tight. This is most important to ensure good root/soil contact. After heeling in, you should have to tug the plant quite hard to remove it.

  4. Protection

    King and Co recommend using planting protection when planting bare root plants. Each planting site has its own predators such as voles, rabbits, deer. It is important to protect your newly planted plants to ensure they are not attacked. In the instance of rabbits, you could use spiral rabbit guards paired with a bamboo cane for stability.

  5. After Care

    After completion of planting, mulch the hedge with either; plastic, woodchips or similar to trap moisture in, and prevent growth of weed competition.

Bare root hedge planted with spiral guards and bamboo canes

Frequently Asked Questions

How dense should I be planting my hedge?

We recommend using 5 plants per metre when using our 40-60cm bare rooted hedging plants. The best way is to plant in a double staggered row.

When is the best time of year to plant my hedge?

Bare rooted plants should only be planted once they have become fully dormant, which in the UK is between November to March. This can however move by a few weeks depending on the weather.

What is the key to good establishment?

Good soil to root contact, which is achieved by heeling in the plants firmly.

Do I need to use soil improver?

You can incorporate compost and soil improver in the planting area, one of the most efficient methods to help bare rooted plants grow is to plant in conjunction with a mycorrhizal fungi such as Rootgrow.

Do I need to water my hedging plants?

Yes. King and Co recommend watering in the plants once planted to settle the soil. Usually the hedge will not need additional watering until late March/April when the weather warms up and the ground begins to dry out.

How do I know my plants are healthy?

King and Co are Plant Healthy Certified meaning our plants are sourced, grown and handled in the most careful and bio-secure manner.

Why use bare root hedging?

Bare root hedging is typically a lower cost solution to creating a new hedge or infilling an existing hedge as opposed to using container grown or rootballed plants.

Shopping online

You can buy trees, hedging, shrubs and topiary online by browsing our website.
If you do not see a plant or size that is suitable for you then please call as we stock a wide variety of plants in our tree nursery. It’s worth noting that many other websites sell other people’s stock (i.e. they act as an agent) so you cannot view the products at their own site. At King & Co, all of our advertised plants are available for viewing at our tree nursery in Rayne, near Braintree, situated just over an hours drive out of London.

Our knowledgeable and experienced tree nursery staff are always contactable via phone on 01376 340469 or if you have any questions regarding any of our trees or accessories.

If you cannot see what you require on our website, please complete the enquiry form. We will give it our urgent attention and will get back to you shortly with a solution that meets your needs.


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