ABOVE: A fine healthy hedge
Hedge-laying, or layering as sometimes called, is a vital job carried out mostly in the winter months as the only real economic way of keeping a hedge stockproof, vermin proof and young and vigorous. Up until the second world war, it was the only means of keeping a hedge managed properly. The hand-tools of the day were typically a billhook, slasher and hammer.
Today, the few of us that still ply the trade, tend to speed things up with a chainsaw!
There are several techniques and styles, but essentially, the hedge layer is trying to re-establish the original line of the hedge by cutting out the old mature wood (and limbing that up for log production) and laying the narrower diameter trees along the direction of the hedge at a 30 -40 degree upward slant. When laid, the laid trees(pleeches) develop new nodal growth along their stems which grow vertically and eventually tie the hedge together in a strong matrix. When done well, the hedge fulfills all of it's original purposes: prevents animals from passing through, allows tight little spaces ideal for small bird nest sites and make's the production of berries more prolific.
THE COMPETITION HEDGE
Here you can see the same hedge with bindings wound around the poles. This is a technique really only done at competition level. You will also see it done in some of our countryside styled gardens.
If you wouldlike your garden hedge to be reinvigourated like those that you see above, just give GRASSROOTS LANDSCAPING A CALL. It is a task best done between November and April.
Prices vary but normally you will be expected to pay on a per metre basis.
The hedge above (winter 2012) would be in the range of £18-£25/linear meter, depending on weather or not you ask us to take away the unused brushwood.