What Type of Site and Soil is Suitable for Beech Hedges?

Beech hedge plants are suitable for all soil types from sand, chalk, peaty, stony or even clay – if it does not become waterlogged during very wet weather.

On heavy clay soils it may be necessary to improve the drainage if your mind is set on a Beech hedge, this can be achieved by digging in some sharp sand, installing perforated land drain pipe or by preparing a small mound of good soil along the line of the hedge, almost like a raised bed but for a hedge.

If all that sounds like to much work you may like to consider a different species from our Plants For Wet Sites page, the most similar hedging plant is Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) which has similar foliage to Green Beech and also retains some of its brown leaves in the winter, but is better suited to wet soil.

Fagus sylvatica hedge plants will grow in full sun or partial shade although is the site is rather shady the new hedge may be slower to develop and will need extra care with watering while young if it is competing with large and established trees and shrubs nearby.

The new young growths of Beech hedge plants can be susceptible to late frosts, if your hedge is to be planted in a low lying ‘frost pocket’ you may prefer to plant Hornbeam as this hedging species will not be damaged in these conditions. Hornbeam is also a better choice in shady areas.