Hedge cutting: know the rules for 2016

Hedge cutting: know the rules for 2016

While a number of groups such as the RSPCA have urged people not to cut their hedge during peak bird breeding times, new EU rules specify the time that people can legally carry out hedge cutting.

It is now illegal to cut or trim your hedgerow between 1 March and 31 August, unless you have applied for a derogation from the Rural Payments Agency. The move was introduced to protect some species, but there are some factors that can allow you to trim your hedge during said period.

If your hedgerow overhangs a highway, road or footpath, or if it poses an obstacle to pedestrians or road users, then you are permitted to take action. You may also cut your hedge if parts of it are dead and run a risk to those on a footpath, or if it hampers the vision of road users. You can also trim the hedge if it has been planted in the first six months of the year.

With March looming, it’s important that you get your garden in order and carry out any work before the deadline for hedge trimming. If you are unsure if you can trim during the prohibited times, or if you require assistance, contact Leaf Matters today using 01732 451 351.

Is life too short for topiary?

Considered as an art form, topiary involves training a perennial plant such as a tree or hedge into a living sculpture, whether it’s a geometric shape or something more fanciful, like an elephant or bear. The practice is believed to have started in Roman times and later spread around the world. The popularity of topiary in the UK probably reached its peak in the 19th century and there are some great examples still to be seen including at Levens Hall in Cumbria, Hampton Court, and Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire, to name just a few.

Topiary is still found in suburban gardens around the country although less and less so these days, probably because people lead busier lives than ever and even straightforward hedge trimming can be time consuming enough, never mind trying to keep a giant duck in shape! As professional arborists, we do see topiary on our travels occasionally. Evergreens like box, yew, and holly tend to be the most popular type of hedge for training into shapes and, as with all hedges, these should be trimmed once a year, or twice for more vigorous plants. We don’t claim to be experts at topiary, but as part of our hedge trimming service, we’re more than happy to help you keep your hedge in the best possible shape!

Spruce up your fruit trees this spring

Winter is finally drawing to a close and there are a few things you should be doing for your fruit trees.

Don’t let the longer days fool you: Jack Frost isn’t done yet. Spring is a time of new growth, delicate shoots, and fragile flowers, all of which will fall to Jack’s tender mercies. Use frost cloths if it looks like he will be paying a visit.

Comfrey and daffodils make excellent companions for fruit trees. Sow some wildflower seeds among them and you will soon have an understorey lively with bees and other pollinating friends.

Apply a slow-release fertiliser early to aid growth. Spring is the perfect time to apply a mulch. Leave a gap around the tree trunks to prevent rot and apply in a doughnut shape around the tree.

Check the health of your trees and call specialists in for tree surgery or hedge cutting. Install guards around tree trunks to keep critters at bay. Check wooden stakes and supports and replace any that are damaged.

Thinning your fruit will allow the remaining fruit to grow to the correct size. Completely remove all fruit in a tree’s first year to allow it to grow strong and crop well in future.

Based in Sevenoaks we can provide tree surgery services across Kent and these areas

We accept tree surgery enquiries from all these areas

Leaf Matters Professional Tree Surgery Ltd are tree surgeons in Sevenoaks offering tree felling, tree clearing, hedge maintenance, pruning and reducing. We are available for tree planting and advice on tree ecology as well as emergency tree work. Based in Sevenoaks we are happy to offer our tree surgery services all around the Sevenoaks area.

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