Hedge Laying

Hedge laying is an ancient craft of hedgerow management that is sadly in decline. We planted this hedgerow about five years ago. It has a mix of species, oak, ash, chestnut and birch. We decided to lay the hedge, to make it thicker. Some of the species we’ve planted may not lay well (e.g. birch), so it’s a bit of an experiment. Traditionally in Ireland, farm hedgerows are composed mainly of hawthorn, blackthorn and ash, all of which are ideal for laying.

I know this may look a bit drastic. But by laying the trees horizontal you create a good thick base. The stems of the trees are cut, but not all the way through. The idea is that the tree will grow again from the stump.

Uprights are cut and placed to keep the now horizontal stems in place.

Uprights

Uprights

Hopefully by the summer, this will be a mass of new leaves.

Both hedge laying and hedge coppicing are excellent ways of rejuvenating a traditional farm hedgerow that has become gappy or over-grown. More information about hedge-laying in Ireland can be found at http://www.hedgelaying.ie/index.php. In the UK there are a number of different ‘styles’ of hedge laying. Photographs can be seen on http://www.hedgelaying.org.uk/styles.htm

 

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Hedge Laying

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      There are a number of hedge laying groups/societies in the UK all promoting the practise. It great to see and great that courses are being held.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Hedge-laying is usually done on deciduous trees – not sure how it would work with hemlock. If you cut hemlock does it re-shoot from the base? If it does – then it would probably work.

      Like

      Reply
    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      My husband, who did all the hard work, said it was very rewarding. It didn’t take too long either but it’s quite a short bit of hedge.

      Like

      Reply
  1. Jane

    It looks so drastic that you can’t believe the trees will regenerate and yet there will be young leaves by the summer. Do you have to protect the cut wood from cold and disease?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Rejuvenated hedge | Murtagh's Meadow

Comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s