High Weald

Shrubs and trees for all rural hedges and situations:

  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) - spiny; has white flowers in May; sloes in October.
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) - spiny; has white flowers in March - April, red berries in autumn.
  • Field Maple (Acer campestre) - a light shrub or tree; has delicate leaves turning butter yellow in autumn; thrives with trimming.
  • Hazel (Corylus avellana) - a very traditional hedgerow shrub or coppice tree; has soft round leaves and bears hazel nuts in autumn.
  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium) - glossy, dense evergreen with spiky leaves and red berries in autumn and winter.
  • Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) - native only to the southern half of Britain; dense, serrated leaves; clusters of papery seeds in autumn.
  • Elder (Sambucus nigra) - white scented flowers in June ; glossy black berries in autumn.
  • Wild Dog Rose (Rosa canina) - thorny, rambling rose with delicate leaves; pink-white flowers in June; red hips in autumn and winter.
  • Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) - leafy shrub with lovely pink and orange berries.
  • Yew (Taxus baccata) - our only native conifer; dense evergreen needles and red berries.

Trees that will grow as hedges or mature specimens:

  • Beech (Fagus sylavatica) - grows into stately tree if untrimmed; retains dense orange-brown leaves all winter.
  • Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) - feathery leaves, turning yellow in autumn; decorative clusters of seeds or 'keys' retained all winter.
  • Alder (Alnus glutinosa) - large round leaves; catkins in spring and black woody 'cones' in winter; thrives especially in damp soils and along water.

Trees for growing to maturity in hedges (also any of the above list):

  • Wild Cherry or Gean (Prunus avium) - tall, delicate trees; white blossom in spring; red fruit in summer and red leaves in autumn.
  • Oak (Quercus robur) - will grow within hedges, but ideally should be allowed to mature into our most traditional and best-known tree; has acorns in autumn.

Note - the above plants are all native to Britain and appropriate to the High Weald. There are many different varieties of most of the above plants now available in nurseries, which have been bred for their ornamental qualities and are not native to Britain. It is important to check the exact Latin name, as given above, to ensure the native species has been chosen.