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Hedging Conifers

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Conifer Hedge

Conifers are plants that bear cones and are recognised for their distinctive scale-like or needled foliage and conical form. They also produce scented resin and some, like Western Red Cedar, have citrusy-sweet scented foliage too. Conifers are prolific and are found all around the globe; they include some of the oldest and tallest trees on earth. They form a huge extended family but hedging conifers are usually of the Cedar, Cypress or Yew family of conifers.  

Although commonly grown as trees, conifers make exceptional evergreen hedges. Conifers used for hedging are those that take well to pruning and shaping and have dense foliage, ideal for using as privacy screens or for property boundaries.

Reasons to plant hedging conifers

Hedging conifers make up some of our most popular hedging plants and rightfully so. Not only does conifer hedging provide year-round cover and instant privacy screening, it is an effective barrier against wind and noise. Conifer hedging also has the ability to absorb pollution and filter out air-borne toxins, in particular those from traffic fumes. Conifers can therefore be beneficial to health and wellbeing in areas with heavy traffic.

Most varieties of hedging conifers are fast growing so will achieve your desired hedge height quickly. It is also important to note that hedging conifers do not deserve their reputation for being garden bullies. As long as you prune your conifer hedge at least once to twice a year, it will not get out of hand.  

The history of hedging conifers

  • These cone-bearing seed plants gain their name from the Latin conus meaning cone and ferre meaning to bear i.e. 'one that bears cones'. Conifer comes from the division Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae.
  • The conifer genus boasts the tallest, thickest and longest trees in the world with the oldest living specimen dating back 290 million years ago.

Cultural uses of hedging conifers

  • Conifers are of ecological significance as they have the ability to adapt to their needs. Trees such as the northern conifer are shaped with downward drooping limbs which allow snow to fall off easily, relieving the branches of unnecessary weight.
  • The wood of hedging conifers and trees has been used industriously for many years with indigenous peoples using it for building homes, boats and tools.
  • Conifer hedging and trees can come in a range of foliage colour, from green, red, bronze, yellow or blue. Their distinct smelling resin, (which smells nicer than it sounds!) helps to protect against insects and fungi.

If you're having trouble deciding on the right conifer hedge for your garden, why not use our Best Hedging Plants For Me tool. Or, you can contact our experienced Sales and Service (01257 261 243) team who can advise you further on the different types of hedging conifers and their individual benefits.