How to keep your conifer hedge green and healthy

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How to keep your conifer hedge green and healthy

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Keep your conifer hedge green and healthy and avoid leaf browning and dieback in conifers, ranging from pests and diseases to damage by the elements. The reluctance of conifers used for hedging (apart from yew) to regenerate from old wood means that the damage is often irreversible. This factsheet is not a comprehensive list of all the causes of browning in conifer hedge species, but does cover the most likely and common causes.

The best way to keeping a healthy hedge is to look after it both during and after planting, here are some tips:


Avoid exposed and waterlogged sites or select a more appropriate hedging species


Always select healthy plants with a good root structure


Check that roots are not pot-bound


Plant in well prepared soil, cultivating 1square metre of soil around each plant to one spades depth


Water new hedges regularly in the first year


Water established hedges in prolonged dry periods


Apply an annual mulch at the base


Avoid scorching sunny days when trimming


After trimming, remove clippings from the top of the hedge


Check regularly for pests and diseases, taking appropriate action immediately


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