Pleached trees are trees that have been trained to form a stunning screen of branches and foliage on a single, straight stem. When they are planted in rows at set distances, they form an elevated 'green wall' effect, which can be a great, natural alternative to high fencing. Pleached trees are often used to screen unsightly buildings and can be grown above an existing wall or fence for added privacy. The stems of our pleached trees are generally between 1.8m and 2.2m tall, so when grown alongside walls and fences, the pleached trees can extend the height of a privacy screen by 3m or even more.
Sometimes known as 'hedges on stilts', or 'pleached hedging', the classic technique was used frequently in Medieval times, when it was used to create shaded walkways - known as pleached allées - traditionally using pleached Lime or Hornbeam trees. It was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and Italy, where the trees could be seen lining the gardens of beautiful stately homes.
In recent years, pleached trees have seen renewed interest and are a firm favourite amongst RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden designers, who appreciate how the attractive trees work just as well in contemporary gardens.
The price of pleached trees varies depending on the species of tree and its stage of growth. Mature pleached trees are more expensive, due to the expert care and skill that has gone into crafting such beautiful trees.
If you're hoping to order a number of trees, we may be able to offer a discount, so we would recommend giving Hedges Direct a call on 01257 263 873 or requesting a call back on [email protected] - just make sure to make your phone number the subject line of your email, and we'll get back to you within 15 minutes if you email during our opening hours.
The Hedges Direct team are experts in pleached trees, so we will be happy to help with any questions or enquiries that you might have.
You can order any quantity of pleached trees, but for orders of 4 trees or below, please note that a delivery charge will apply. For larger orders, we can often subsidise the delivery cost or discount the cost of the plants.
It is a little challenging delivering pleached trees, but thankfully we have years of experience getting them safely to gorgeous gardens across the country, so whether your outdoor space is small, stately or suburban, we are happy to take on the challenge. Our pleached trees are mainly grown as root balls, so the season typically runs from October to May. We do have a range of pot-grown pleached trees available all year round - fresh pleached trees in particular are a cost-effective and popular option.
If you are ordering online, please note that most pleached trees as a single unit will exceed the standard threshold for free delivery via a lorry or pallet. Due to their size, shape and weight, pleached trees require specialist delivery via an articulated lorry, so we'll need to speak with you to arrange delivery and to make sure we can get access to your property to carry out the delivery. If there are access issues, we can try using a smaller vehicle, but that involves double handling from us, so we would need to quote you for a delivery supplement. If this is the case, get in touch with us for a quote.
Traditionally, Lime, Beech and Hornbeam trees have been a popular choice for pleaching, and today they are still some of the most commonly-used trees. For something a bit different, Hedges Direct also offers Field Maple, London Plane, Cherry Laurel and Photinia pleached trees.
The best trees for pleaching must have relatively short distance between the buds, to give the density of branches required for this technique. They must also be robust enough to resist disease - pleached trees need to be pruned regularly, which leaves wounds that have the potential for infection until they have fully healed. For this reason, Horse Chestnut, Birch and Cherry trees aren't suitable for pleaching.
The best species for growing pleached espaliers are members of the apple and pear families, such as Crab Apple and Ornamental pear trees, which are available to buy on the Hedges Direct website.
The planting distance of pleached trees depends on a few factors, such as which species of tree you have opted for, and the desired final look that you are aiming for. The trees can be planted so that each screen is just touching, although we would advise leaving at least a few feet between them to allow for growth, as this will give a deep, bushy screen effect.
Depending on your patience - and your budget - you could try planting the trees with up to 10-12 feet between the widest parts of the screens, as over time, the branches will grow out to meet the other trees, creating an elegant, narrow screening effect.
When it comes to considering the best distance from a building to plant the trees, this is dependent on the type of tree you choose. For example, Crab Apple trees have a lesser root spread than Platanus. It is best to call your insurance provider who will be able to advise further if you have any concerns about planting pleached trees.
Espaliers require a slightly more formal approach to pruning. The tiers are trained at regular spacings and each winter, all branches that are growing upwards will need to be cut back to around 5cm to form 'spurs' that will bear blossom and fruit the following year. Each tier of your pleached espalier tree can be extended until the tree is as wide as you would like it to be. Hedges Direct has a range of beautiful pleached fresh and mature espaliers that are ready for you to enjoy.
If you'd like to browse our range of pleached trees, we have options available to suit gardens of every style. Alternatively, if you'd like to speak to our experts, just give us a call on 01257 263 873 and they will be happy to help.