What Spacing Should I Plant My Hedge?

One of the most commonly asked questions and one of the easier ones to answer since it depends mainly on the species of hedge to be planted.

Hawthorn and other “native” hedgerows are usually planted at 4 plants per metre overall in 2 rows, 30cm apart. This will develop into a thick hedge with a wide “bottom”. The easiest way to do this is to measure and plant at one metre spacing first (marked * below) then to return and fill in with 3 more plants (marked 0 below) between every “metre” plant:

*          0          *          0          *

0           0           0          0          0

Some grant schemes insist on 6 plants per metre. This will increase the cost of the hedge by 50% with no real long-term gain. Indeed for informal countryside hedges where the main objective is flowers, seeds and berries for wildlife and visual appeal it would be better to plant a single row at 1 metre spacing. This will produce stronger plants with more room to spread. If allowed to grow such a hedge will produce a profusion of flowers and fruits. See my blog on planting new countryside hedges.

Beech and Privet hedges are usually planted at 3 plants per metre they can be planted in a double row as above or in a single row. Laurels and Leylandii should be planted in a single row at 3 plants per 2 metres or 1 plant per metre. Their bushy growth will soon fill the gaps.