Hedging For Wet Sites – Wet sites are often associated with low lying areas near water courses and especially with heavy clay soils with a high water table. Such areas are often prone to winter waterlogging and flooding, however, wet sites are not always caused by the water table and can be the result of poor drainage. When you have established which is the cause then improving the site can help before planting. On heavy clay soil which can be very heavy in winter and hard and unforgiving in summer adding a generous amount of organic matter to the planting site and as much surrounding area as possible will help.
(At this point it is worth adding that our definition of a wet site is a damp one where you can walk on it comfortably without sinking for much of the year but it does become waterlogged periodically during wet weather and may flood occasionally. If your site is very wet indeed the list of suitable plants is most likely going to be restricted to little more than Willows, Alders and Poplars. A good guide would be to asess which trees and shrubs are already growing similar conditions nearby and use this as the best indication)
Improving drainage will of course be beneficial when planting hedges for wet sites, forking drainage holes into the base and sides of prepared holes and raising beds or planting areas to allow a better drainage area below the roots. While there are many garden hedging plants and trees that are not suited to these harsher conditions such as Beech and Yew, the good news is there is a great selection of trees, shrubs and hedging plants that will revel in these wetter conditions!
Damp or wet sites can make for more difficult establishment of hedging and trees. To make things easier we have a good list of recommendations for you including Native, Evergreen and Flowering hedge species that all love damp and wet soil conditions.
Morris Hankinson BSc (Hort)
Founder and Managing Director
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