Fagus vs Carpinus: How to choose between the two

Fagus vs Carpinus: How to choose between the two

Fagus vs Carpinus. These two deciduous hedging plants can look very similar to each other but they are different in many ways. Even in our nursery they can be confused, opposite our office we have one of each type and people regularly think that they are the same hedge. 


Fagus vs Carpinus: So how do they differ?

Fagus sylvatica (Green Beech)

Fagus vs Carpinus Green Beech leaves

A British native tree that can be found across nearly all of the United Kingdom. As a tree it can reach 30-50m in height and up to 30 metres in diameter. As a hedging plant it makes a good dense hedge, with lots of beautiful soft green leaves, with a gentle gloss, in the spring, that are followed by glorious copper leaves in the autumn and into the winter. These leaves are held on the plant until the new leaves push them off making this a deciduous plant that does give a good degree of cover during the winter.

Suitable for growing in almost all conditions, the main environment the hedge doesn’t really like, are waterlogged or heavy clay soils.

When trimmed regularly Green Beech has a fine finish and will enhance any planting scheme excellently.

Fagus vs Carpinus Greenbeech

Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)

Traditionally found in the south and east of the country where it once formed vast forests that were coppiced for firewood, the hornbeam is a good all round plant. Easily mistaken for the Fagus it can be identified by the deeper veins in the leaves and the slightly duller finish. In the spring the plants really shine with vibrant pale green leaves.

Fagus vs Carpinus Hornbeam leaves

When grown as a tree it can reach 30 metres in height and is a magnificent sight, although it looks just as brilliant as a hedge. Like the Fagus, the Carpinus can hold some of its leaves which are a grey/brown colour but unlike the Fagus, if it is an exposed site these leaves can be stripped from the branches during the winter.

Best grown in the southern areas of Britain, Carpinus can grow in all soil types and can even sit in wet soil while dormant during the winter.

Fagus vs Carpinus

So how do you choose?

So Fagus vs Carpinus. It is hard to decide on which of these hedges is the best and it will come down to personal choice 9 times out of 10. Looking at what we grow on the nursery in both Readybags and Troughs, we grow the same amount of each and depending on the year one always goes faster than the other. At the end of the day whichever one is planted, they will both perform brilliantly and give an amazing hedge for many years to come.

Keen to get started? Get in touch with our team to discuss what you need!

How to use Readyhedge in 4 easy steps

How to use Readyhedge in 4 easy steps

Readyhedge is an innovative and easy way to plan and plant a hedge.

Below we’ll take you through just a few of the benefits of using Readyhedge and how to use our hedging to benefit your garden or outdoor space in just four quick and easy steps.

How to use readyhedge

The traditional way of using bare root or field-grown hedging involves measuring and then working out how many plants are needed. If a mixed hedge has also been specified, there’s also the job of choosing which species are to be planted. Traditionally hedges are usually comprised of five plants per metre and when planted are a single stem which then needs some sort of protection from rabbits and other grazing animals. This is normally in the form of plastic guards and canes. 

A Readyhedge trough is 5 plants in a metre, but they have been growing together for 12 to 18 months and have been trimmed to encourage side shoots. This means that when they are planted, they are already quite dense and do not need this protection from grazing animals. 


Bare root hedging has a short window of time in which it can be planted, normally from November to the end of March. 

A Readyhedge trough can be planted at any time of the year, meaning that hedging can now be planted all year round. Bare root hedging can also suffer from a 20-25% failure rate in the first year due to replant shock, whereas with a Readyhedge trough this has already been done and so as long as the hedging is cared for correctly it will give you 100% survival. 


When planting bare root plants care must be taken to make sure that they do not dry out and that they are planted at the correct depth and without damaging the roots, this can be quite a time-consuming process. A Readyhedge trough just needs a trench that is 19cm deep and 30cm wide and then the hedging can be lifted out of the plastic trough and placed straight in, this means that planting of our instant hedging can take half the time.

How to use readyhedge, dig trough How to use readyhedge Part 2 How to use readyhedge part 3How to use readyhedge part 4

When planting taller plants if you use our Readybag range of hedging, the same applies, it is quicker and easier to plant a Readybag than it is to plant individual plants.


How to use Readyhedge in four quick and easy steps.

  1. Choose the variety of hedge that you wish to plant
  2. Measure the length of the area you are putting the hedge into
  3. Order that number of Readyhedge instant hedging units
  4. Sit back and await delivery which can be as quick as 48 hours


Keen to get started? Get in touch with our team to discuss what you need! 

Our Top Six Pleached Trees

Our Top Six Pleached Trees

Readyhedge is known for being a grower of high quality instant hedging but did you know that we also grow nearly 1000 pleached trees each year. Starting with a feathered tree our team of skilled staff train the trees onto a bamboo frame and then grow them on for at least one growing season before they are offered for sale.

The team grow over 10 different species in both evergreen and deciduous and with clear stem heights from 0-180cm. 


So how do pleached trees work?

Pleached trees are an amazing addition to a garden and allow for screening to over 3 metres, especially when planted next to a fence or a wall. Having the clear stem allows for the beauty of a natural wall to be seen or the opportunity for decorative planting underneath.  While pleached trees are most often used along a boundary to give extra privacy, they can also be used to great effect as free standing features and can be seen in some well known formal gardens in Britain, commonly forming avenues or framing linear water features.

It is hard to pick a favourite out of the trees that we grow at Readyhedge, but we feel the three below are the best deciduous and evergreen screening panels that we grow.


Readyhedge Top Three Deciduous Pleached Trees


Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)


Pleached tree Carpinus Betulus


The Hornbeam is one of the most versatile hedging plants that you can find and as a pleached tree it is just as good. Happy growing in all soil types, this variety will perform reliably every year.  With lovely fresh green leaves in the spring and retaining a proportion of its old leaves during the winter, it is a great all rounder. With at least a 150cm clear stem, when grown as an aerial screen you get to see the amazing buttresses of the stem, which are normally hidden when grown as hedging. Due to its ease of growth this is the perfect variety to choose for areas where aftercare may be limited.


Pyrus cal. Chanticleer (Ornamental Pear)


Pyrus Chanticleer Flowers Pleached tree


This is a very underrated tree. While it is deciduous, it is one of the last trees to lose its leaves on the nursery, regularly still having leaves in December before coming back into the leaf very early as well. It also has copious quantities of white flowers in the spring which are already fully out this year (early March), which are then followed by the leaves. 

While it is a member of the Pear family it does not often set fruit and when it does they are very small and insignificant. The flowers in the spring are amazing but in the Autumn, it’s fiery colour is breathtaking and on a good year could nearly rival the Japanese maples for its colour.


Liquidamber Worplesdon (Sweet Gum)


Pleached tree liquidamber worplesdon


Often confused with the Japanese Maples due to its five lobed leaves, it has a similar autumn colour. The leaves are large and lobed and come out a fresh green in the late spring and if crushed they give out a sweet menthol/eucalyptus scent. Having large leaves means that this type always seems to give you good coverage and privacy from a young age, which can make it a very good choice if you don’t want to wait for an established tree. To add to its beauty, the older branches and trunk can have a corky winged appearance.


Readyhedge Top Three Evergreen Pleached Trees


Prunus lau. Novita


Prunus Novita


A form of Cherry or Common Laurel, this large leaf evergreen is a great all purpose screening tree. Suitable for nearly all areas and soil types it will happily grow a good dense head. Regular pruning is required to keep it looking at its best as well as removing the white candle like flowers as they fade if you do not want it to produce fruit.


Prunus lus. Angustifolia (Portugal Laurel)


Pleached tree Prunus Angustifolio


As a standard hedge the Portugal is a firm favourite due to its ability to be trimmed up into formal shapes and dense look. As a pleached tree it is no different and just as stunning. If a high class finish is required this is the go to tree.


Quercus ilex (Holm Oak)

An evergreen British native oak tree with a different grey green leaf, the Holm Oak is very slow to get going and to form a screen but when it does it is amazing. We grow a limited number of these and normally only get up to about a 120cm clear stem. They require some patience and imagination on behalf of a client but for those with the foresight they will be rewarded with a dense pleached tree that is capable of being trimmed up into a very formal finish if that is what is required


Pleached tree Quercus Ilex


Whichever final look you want to achieve and garden space you’re working with, Readyhedge has a whole host of pleached tree options for you. It’s always worth getting in touch and speaking to the team, as we often have various options of some varieties that will not necessarily appear on the website and possibly not even the stock list. 

Get in touch with the team here, we can’t wait to hear from you!

5 Top Low Hedge Shrubs For Your Garden

5 Top Low Hedge Shrubs For Your Garden

At Readyhedge, we provide hedging of all shapes and sizes, catering to every type of outdoor space. We know that sometimes all that is needed is a small divider in a garden and this is where the low hedges come in. 

Low hedging tends to be evergreen, meaning they can add structure to the garden even in the depths of winter. Best known as knot gardens or Parterres in the grand country houses of the rich and famous, where they are planted in between colourful bedding plants, they are just as useful in a small garden to edge a path or patio to give the garden structure.

Greenhouse plants

In our previous blog post, we discussed all things low hedging including how to incorporate them into your garden, maintenance tips and how to ensure sustainability. Below we look at our top 5 low hedge picks for your garden. 


Low Hedge 1: Buxus sempervirens (Common Box)


Buxus sempervirens low hedge


This is the classic low hedge that has been grown for hundreds of years. It is a very slow growing hedge and with two trims a year it can be kept looking amazing. With small evergreen leaves it forms a dense hedge that can be kept at 40cm in height with great ease.  It grows 2 – 5 cm a year and over time can grow up to over 180cm in height, although this would take a while.

Currently suffering from bad press because of a box moth caterpillar and the potential effects of blight. The Buxus sempervirens are still a brilliant hedge and with care and treatment both of these problems can be, and are, kept at bay allowing this plant to thrive as an amazing low hedge option.


Low Hedge 2: Taxus baccata (English Yew)


Taxus Baccata low hedge


A surprising one as normally seen as a large hedge in a formal garden or even a maze.  With regular trimming the English Yew can be kept down to around 40 – 50cm in height.  With its dark green foliage it makes a great edge to an outdoor space and also makes for a stunning backdrop for other plants. Good for a Knot garden, it is worth considering as a low hedge as it is easy to get topiary shapes like balls, cones and Pyramids to match up with it.  If it does get too big it is possible to cut Taxus down and it will regenerate to form a nice low hedge again.


Low Hedge 3: Euonymus Jean Hugues


Euonymus Japonica Jean low hedge


A relatively new hedge form, this plant is making a big inroad into the low, formal hedge market. Evergreen with small green leaves, they are thinner and not as rounded as Box leaves are but still look just as great. At Readyhedge we have been growing this hedge for 5 to 6 years and it can grow up to 80cm tall quite quickly although it is also easy to keep it cut down to around 40-50cm. We would not advise planting this in a really exposed site but we are finding that in more sheltered spots it is a brilliant performing low hedge. 


Low Hedge 4: Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly)


ilex Crenata Dark Green low hedge


Looking nothing like the holly that you normally see, with small oval leaves and no spines, this is an interesting and slightly different hedge type. As it gets older it gets denser meaning at a young age it can look a bit open but as it matures it fills out and eventually forms a really dense screen.

We grow two types, the first is an Ilex crenata Dark Green which is normally around 30-40cm tall with a lovely dark green leaf. The other is Ilex crenata Caroline Upright which grows taller and has a paler more yellow leaf and this makes a superb hedge in the 70-90cm height range. Both of these plants perform best in a loam soil that is also slightly acidic. They are quite a rigid plant and as such it would be best to use them in areas where they are not likely to be knocked into as they can damage very easily.


Low Hedge 5: Pittosporum Golf Ball


Pittosporum Golf Ball low hedge


This, as the name suggests, will, if left alone, form a sphere or dome. However, trimmed it makes a lovely low hedge with a pale almost grey green leaf. The Pittosporum Golf Ball tend to be soft looking and not quite as formal as the previous hedges. We would again suggest that these are grown in the milder parts of the country or in sheltered spots as they can show some leaf scorch during the winter.


No matter what look you’re after or the size of your garden, when the right hedge is chosen and planted well, the final outcome can be incredibly effective.

The Versatile World of Low Hedging: Ideas for Every Gardener

The Versatile World of Low Hedging: Ideas for Every Gardener

The Versatile World of Low Hedging: Ideas for Every Gardener

Low hedging, an integral component of garden design, offers a unique blend of aesthetics, functionality, and versatility. Perfect for gardeners of all skill levels, low hedges provide a natural solution for defining spaces, enhancing privacy, and adding beauty to landscapes. This blog explores the multifaced world of low hedging, offering ideas and insights to inspire gardeners everywhere.

Understanding Low Hedging:

Low hedges, typically under one metre in height, are much more than just garden borders. They serve multiple purposes: Creating visual interest, delineating spaces, and even serving as windbreaks or noise barriers. The beauty of low hedging lies in its versatility – whether you have a sprawling large garden or a modest front garden, there’s a low hedge to suit your needs.

Choosing the Right Plants:

The key to successful low hedging starts with appropriate plants. Factors such as growth rate, foliage density, and adaptability to your local climate are crucial. Some popular choices include:
• Box (Buxus sempervirens): Known for its dense, evergreen foliage, boxwood is a classic choice for formal low hedging.
• Japanese Holly (Ilex Crenata): A great alternative to boxwood, it’s perfect for creating smooth, rounded hedges.

Designing with Low Hedges

Low hedging offers endless design possibilities, making them suitable for a range of different garden styles:
1. Formal Gardens: Use straight-lined low hedging to create geometric patterns or frame garden statues.
2. Cottage Gardens: Combine flowering plants like lavender with informal hedging for a relaxed, charming effect.
3. Contemporary Spaces: Opt for neatly trimmed hedges like boxwood to complement modern garden designs.

The Versatile World of Low Hedging: Ideas for Every Gardener - 1

Maintenance Tips:

While low hedges are generally low-maintenance, some care is necessary to keep them looking their best:
• Pruning: Regular pruning not only maintains the desired shape but also encourages dense growth.
• Feeding and Watering: Providing the right nutrients and adequate water will ensure your hedges stay healthy and vibrant.
• Pest and Disease Management: Keep an eye out for common issues like box blight or spider mites and caterpillars and treat them promptly.

Incorporating Low Hedges for Functionality:

Apart from their decorative value, low hedges can be functional:

• Creating Borders: They are ideal for marking the boundaries of vegetable gardens or walkways.
• Wildlife Habitats: Planting native hedges can attract beneficial insects and birds, enhancing your garden’s biodiversity.

Sustainable Gardening with Low Hedges:

Incorporating sustainable practices into your hedging strategy not only benefits the environment but also improves your gardens health:

• Choosing Native Plants: They are better adapted to local conditions and require less care.
• Organic Practices: Use natural fertilisers and pest control methods to minimise environmental impact.

The Versatile World of Low Hedging: Ideas for Every Gardener - 1

Advanced Techniques:

For the more adventurous gardener, low hedging can be an opportunity to experiment:
• Topiary Art: Skilful pruning hedges into artistic shapes can add a unique touch to your garden.
• Layered Planting: Combining different hedge heights can create a visually appealing and dynamic landscape.

Integrating Low Hedges in Small Spaces and Urban Gardens:

Low hedges are not just for expansive landscapes; they can play a significant role in smaller gardens and urban settings. In compact spaces, low hedges can be used to maximise the sense of space and create distinct areas without overwhelming the area. They are excellent for balcony gardens, patio borders, or green dividers in communal urban spaces. By choosing dwarf varieties or slow-growing plants, urban gardeners can enjoy the elegance of hedges without the need for frequent trimming or maintenance.

The world of low hedging is rich and varied, offering something for every gardener. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just embarking on your garden journey, low hedging can enhance your garden in a number of ways. From creating defined spaces to attracting wildlife, these versatile plants are a fantastic addition to any garden.

By embracing the ideas shared within this blog, you’re well on your way to discovering the full potential of low hedging in your garden. Remember, gardening is a journey of learning and growth, and low hedging is a wonderful chapter in that adventure.

For more hedging insights and expert advice, please feel free to get in touch with us here at Readyhedge. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve your gardening/landscaping goals.

Unveiling the Charm of Taxus Hedging in Your Garden

Unveiling the Charm of Taxus Hedging in Your Garden

Unveiling the Charm of Taxus Hedging in Your Garden

Discover the timeless elegance of Taxus hedging, commonly known as Yew, a distinguished choice for garden enthusiasts. This blog delves into what Taxus is, its benefits, diverse applications in various garden spaces, and essential planting and maintenance tips. Known for its dense, evergreen foliage, Taxus is a popular choice in landscape design, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits.

Benefits of Taxus Hedging

1. Aesthetic Appeal: Taxus hedges offer lush, green backdrops year-round, enhancing garden and landscape aesthetics.
2. Privacy and Noise Reduction: Their dense foliage creates natural privacy screens and sound barriers, ideal for urban settings.
3. Environmental Benefits: Taxus hedges contribute to carbon sequestration and provide habitats for wildlife, these hedges attract a variety of birds and beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity and enriching the garden ecosystem.
4. Versatility in Design: Suitable for both formal and informal designs, they can also be sculpted into various shapes, catering for a multitude of landscape themes.
5. Durability and Low Maintenance: These hedges are resilient to various weather conditions and require minimal upkeep, making them a practical choice for gardeners of all skill levels. If taken care of to a high standard, these hedges could increase the monetary value of your garden.


Utilisation in Different Areas

Taxus hedges are versatile, fitting seamlessly into various garden designs. They’re perfect for creating boundary hedges, ornamental topiaries, or as foundational plants in mixed borders. In larger landscapes, they serve as windbreaks or privacy screens. Taxus hedges also find their place in smaller urban gardens, providing greenery and tranquillity amidst bustling cityscapes.

Planting and Maintenance

To ensure the success of your Taxus hedge, consider these tips:

• Planting: Choose well-drained soil and a suitable location with adequate sunlight.
• Watering: Regular watering is important, especially during dry spells.
• Trimming: trim 2 to 3 times per year to help maintain shape and encourages dense growth.
• Disease Management: Watch for signs of root rot or pest infestations and treat promptly.

Taxus hedging is more than just a garden feature; it’s an investment in beauty, privacy, and environmental health. Whether you’re creating a serene garden retreat or enhancing an urban area, Taxus hedges offer a blend of elegance and practicality. Embrace the versatility and benefits of Taxus in your garden for a lasting impact.

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How to buy Taxus Hedging?

Taxus hedging can be bought at this time of the year (and up until the end of March) as Rootballed or Field Grown plants. Rootballed Taxus hedging involves transplanting Taxus, with a substantial soil ball encompassing its root system. This soil ball is then wrapped in a hessian bag which can then also have wire around it depending on the size of the ball. This traditional technique ensures minimal root disturbance, facilitating a smoother transition and healthier growth post transplantation. When planting the wire and hessian are left on the rootball, but are untied from around the stem of the plant, and they will rot away over the course of a couple of years.

The main advantage of buying taxus this way is that you can get bigger and bushier plants than you would from container grown plants.

Contact us today to see what we have to enhance your planting scheme.