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I am thinking of planting a new hedge and thought about hawthorn. I have never noticed these being sold at garden centres, but this is probably because I haven't been looking. Anyone know if you can get reasonably established ones, and how long they take to grow? I had a beauty at my previous house, but it was 50 or more years old. I'm afraid I can't wait that long!

Cheers, Linda.

See my photos on Flickr

  • We took out an old leylandii hedge this year and have replaced with a selection of natives.  We got them from our local garden centre - we were a bit late really (early April) so all the hawthorn bare root cuttings were gone, but we did get a couple of 3 ft pot grown hawthorns which we will let grow above the hedgeline.

    I'm sure any good nursery type garden centre (maybe less so if its the cafe & trinkets type place) should carry some hawthorns. All the books & websites we checked recommended hawthorn as the basis of a natural hedge.  Bare root whips are probably best but if you are impatient for size you will just have to dig deeper (pockets & ground!!)

    Can't comment on time to grow - what with being first year of planting, and a dry one at that, we haven't been overwhelmed with lush growth ;-(

  • In reply to fittmonk:

    Hello Fittmonk,

    Thanks for your reply. What other natives have you used to replace the leylandii ? I also have a leylandii hedge, but it makes an excellent roosting spot for my sparrows, who just love it. I am thinking of taking out 2 adjacent conifer-type shrubs (not sure what they are) on the other side of the garden because hubby cut them too close and  they are now brown and patchy in places. However, they are bushy and about 7 feet high, which is perfect for their location and affords great privacy. This is why I am anxious to have a 7 foot bushy replacement as soon as possible!! I really want natives, especially some with berries etc.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:

    I'm supposed to be putting in a new hedge this winter. There's a photo of the ground I've cleared for it on my page (how sad is that?:))


    I'm intending to plant a mixture of natives as follows:-

    Blackthorn, Buckthorn, Dogwood, Goat Willow, Hawthorn, Holly, Wild prunus, and Privet.


    They were picked to be good for butterflies


    I'm getting them from a local nursery- Ben Reid's, but I've nicked apile of information of this site, and they seemt o delvier




    When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!

  • Hi Sparrow

    I planted a native hedge which was mainly Hawthorn on a budget 5 years ago, so I bought the cheapest bare-rooted whips I could, only 45-60cm tall, then did the savage thing of cutting them down to half that size so that the hedge would grow thick. Despite trimming every other year, I now have a 5-foot high dense hedge with House Sparrows, Wrens, Robins et al using it. One plant I let grow tall - it is now 12 foot high.

    Now you don't need to be a cheapskate like me and buy 1-year old spindly whips - you could search online for older and bigger bare-rooted Hawthorn saplings that are up to 6 feet tall (180cm). They've been grown for up to 4 years, but are still really affordable. I'd still then cut half off the top when I planted them to make them bushy, but they'll amaze you with their growth by the second year.

    If you want to drop by my RSPB wildlife gardening blog, it is updated every Friday, and I'd love to see you there -

  • In reply to Aberdeenshire Quine:

    Hi Aberdeenshire Quine and Adrian,

    Thanks for your replies and the excellent advice. You have both given me some food for thought - much appreciated. I had a look at the link for ordering hedging. What a fabulous selection they have, with lots of information on the website. I am very tempted to order some. I reckon I need about 20 bare rooted ones for the space I have, but first I have to persuade hubby to cut down the existing shrubs. He doesn't know a spade from a daisy, and allows as much as 1 day a year for helping out in the garden! However, as it was he who made a mess of the existing shrubs in the first place, and as I don't want them actually digging up - just cutting down to stumps, I may get away with an extra day this year!

    I think mainly hawthorn with some dogwood, wild cherry, and holly for evergreen as well as the berries, might be a good mix, maybe a dog rose. I don't know. I will have a think.

    I may be back with more pleas for help in the near future - I have never bought bare roots before.

    Aberdeenshire Quine - I love your tree stumps! Please don't tell me you cut those trees down with the blue shears lying ontop of the stump??!!!!


    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Sparrow:


    You've been offered some really good suggestions already.  We put in dogwood, hornbeam, yew, hazel, guelder rose, and quite a lot of box (cheap cuttings from family which are an experiment.)  We weren't too precious about natives, so also have viburnum tinus nearest the house for spring blossom (insects love it), a chaenomeles that needed a home and a variegated holly that was going spare.   Oh and a malus for instant height.  I like your idea of dog rose but couldn't get any cheap ones at the time :-(

    The viburnum & yew were chosen in the hope that they would create over time a year round barrier between us and next door for privacy of both us and them.

    Although only diddy the guelder rose had good autumn colour, and we are hoping for crops of glossy berries in a year or two. 

  • In reply to Sparrow:



    I left the shears there, so you could see some scale. Those 4 trees was £1100 of tree surgery :( And by doing my civic duty all I'll have done is slow down a tiny bit of the spread for a short period of time:(

    When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!

  • In reply to Aberdeenshire Quine:

    You've certainly got all the information you need through everyones posts. I would stick with Adrian' s suggestion of the 40-60cm 1 year old whips and try to get them planted this side of Christmas. The sooner you get them in, the quicker they will establish and within a very short space of time you'll have a hedge just like Adrian's.

    The bigger the plant you buy the harder it falls! Specimens need more TLC and can at times find it hard to establish and are more prone to buckling under stress.

    I recently ordered a hedge mix and will be putting some 'feathered' trees (150 - 180cm) in it to give the height. They have all been grown from local seeds so I know the provenance is good. Often plants sold as 'native' hawthorn etc have actually come from Continental stock, so its always one to be wary of. I am expecting to collect my hedge and tree mix next week, so watch this space and the blogs.

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  • In reply to John Day:

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, ideas and brilliant advice. It is much appreciated. I am saving all the advice to refer to again just as soon as the ground is cleared ready for the hedge.

    Thanks muchly

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • Anonymous

    I have wanted to plant hawthorn for some time but I don't have a large garden. Does anyone know if there is a variety that grows up fencing rather than a large bushy tree. I'd like the berries for the birds but don't have the space for it to bush out into the garden.