Examples of a Native Hedge Plant
Two species that usually comprise the backbone of a native hedge are Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). Hawthorn provides beautiful spring blossoms and berries in the autumn, which are good for wildlife. Its thorns make it a good choice for security hedge plants, and it is incredibly vigorous, even when continually cut back. Blackthorn is also very thorny, making it another good plant for barrier hedging. In spring, Blackthorn produces creamy-white flowers and in the autumn it bears fruit which is great for wildlife (and flavouring gin!). Field Maple (Acer campestre) is a fast growing native hedge plant which is often found in hedgerows as a shrub or hedging tree. Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa) is another native hedging tree common to hedgerows. It produces yellow catkins and attractive false cones, which make a good supply of bird food in the spring. It is particularly suited to boggy ground, but not chalky soils.
Alder is useful in areas where rabbits are common, as its bark is rarely eaten by wildlife. Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) is a native hedge plant which produces berries that attract wildlife. Hazel (Corylus avellana) is a slender native tree, useful for humans and wildlife alike due to its production of edible nuts. Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris) is an attractive native hedge plant, producing pale pink flowers in early summer and rich yellow leaves in autumn. Crab Apple supports a large number of species and produces a large crop of fruit in late summer. Dog Rose (Rosa canina) is a climbing hedging plants, and produces stunning flowers in hedgerows in the summer months. In early autumn it produces rose-hip fruit, which is an excellent source of vitamin C and is enjoyed by small birds which can extract the seeds inside.
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), also known as Quickthorn, May and Whitethorn, is a thorny, deciduous native hedging plant. It is incredibly sturdy and fast growing (averaging a foot and a half per year), with a close branching habit – these qualities make it very livestock-proof, which is why a Hawthorn hedge is a popular choice for agricultural border hedges, security and barrier hedges. Interestingly, the name for Hawthorn comes from “haw”, the Old English word for “hedge”, while its Latin name Crataegus means “hardness”, referring to the sturdy quality of the wood. Hawthorn hedges are incredibly attractive, with clusters of scented white flowers appearing in the spring. In the autumn, there are glossy red haws which support native bird life. The practice of hedge laying is done most commonly with a Common Hawthorn hedge plant. Hedge Nursery provide a wide range of native hedge plants.
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