Hedging for Cold Weather

This week's advice centres on hedging and the best type of hedge for the cold winters we can expect for years to come. 

For this week's advice corner, I would like to tackle the project of planting your hedge. The winter of 2010 was the toughest in living memory for shrubs, trees, plants, and the garden in general. However, possibly the worst hit was your hedging. We had an untold number of people call into us on the Headford Rd. from around February onwards whose hedging had been wiped out by the frost. The main casualty was Griselinia as this had proved such a popular hedge amongst the people of the West of Ireland down through the years. However it wasn't the only one of the many varieties of hedging available that was affected. If the experts on this are to be believed this winter, and many more winters to come are going to be as bad if not worse, for these reasons my main focus this week will be on the top three cold-hardy hedges available. These are Prunus Laurocerasus, Prunus Lusitanica and Fagus Sylvatica.


  • Prunus Laurocerasus:

In plain English terms, this is another name for Common Laurel. Laurel is a fast, vigorous growing hedge. It retains its leaves during the winter and produces a white flower. It can withstand temperatures as low as minus 25oc!!

Prunus Caucasica is an alternative to this hedge but is extremely similar in many ways. It is equally as hardy, is evergreen and also produces white flowers.


  1. Prunus Lusitanica:

This is also a member of the Laurel family; its common name is Portuguese Laurel. This is a very hardy hedge that also produces long pendula white flowers. However, that's where the similarities end between this Laurel and the previous Common Laurel. The Portuguese Laurel has a lovely red hue to its stem and its leaves are a lot smaller and neater in size than the Common Laurel. This is a pure gem of a hedge that would add a touch of class to any boundary.


  1. Fagus Sylvatica:

Commonly know as Green Beech. Green Beech is by far the most natural living screen to surround anyone's garden. This time of year you will notice the green leaves changing to a lovely golden colour. After the flush of gold, the leaves turn a rusty brown colour, which they retain throughout the winter months before returning to their recognisable green in the spring.

            Fagus Sylvatica Atropurpurea is most commonly known as Copper Beach. This is similar in most ways to its green counter part; they even look identical during the winter. However, during the summer it has beautiful copper/red leaves.

 These are my top three recommendations. Whether it is a new hedge or a hedge you have been forced to replace thanks to Jack Frost, anyone of these three will serve you well for many years to come.

I have tried to explain these hedges as best I can, however the best way to get a full understanding of each would be to come in and take a look at our large selection of hedging. We can even provide you with a free quote. Liam, Tilda or Margaret are always on hand to offer any advice you may need on the planting, fertilisation and general maintenance of your hedge.

I will finish off with my top tip: Always measure the length of the area you intend to plant before you come in, otherwise we won't be able to provide you with an accurate quote.


All the above mentioned hedges are available now in pots or in bare root or root ball. If you have any immediate queries on anything you have read here, please don't hesitate to contact us on 0876520420 or 091755330. Alternatively you can e-mail us on info@mcgaughs.com.

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