Planting bare root Blackthorn hedge plants is an economic way to plant a native hedge without costing a fortune if you can spare the time for these plants to reach a greater height. These plants are all 60-80cm tall and come bare rooted, that is to say that they are dug straight from the field and are sold without any soil around their roots. These plants should be planted as soon as possible after purchasing to avoid the roots drying out and damage occurring to the hedge plants.
Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) can be found in almost every farm hedge in the UK. With its sharp thorny branches, it was used for many centuries to help create stockproof hedgerows to contain livestock but has since retained a useful status as a hardy hedging plant. In March and April, Blackthorn will be seen covered in a proliferation of small white flowers. In the autumn, an abundance of fruits, known as Sloes, will be produced which are commonly used for flavouring gin. Birds and wildlife favour native hedges as nesting sites and a well clipped Blackthorn hedge will provide shelter and security for many song birds. Blackthorn produces flowers before it comes into leaf whereas Hawthorn produces leaves before it comes into flower.
A pure Blackthorn hedge is relatively uncommon and it is mostly found as part of a mixed species native hedge and will grow extremely well with other species such as Hawthorn, Field Maple, Spindle, Beech, Dog Rose, Hazel and Hornbeam. Native hedges such as this can be found across much of the UK.
These bare root native hedging plants should be planted 45cm apart in a single row or 60cm apart in a double row.
As these are bare root plants, we recommend using Rootgrow which helps the plants produce a secondary system of roots. It is also important if deer and rabbits are prolific in your planting area to use spiral tree guards to protect them.