The Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus Cathartica) is a beautiful deciduous hedge that is large in size. It produces glossy red berries in huge quantities, that turn to black in the chillier autumn months. The leaves also change colour in autumn from a deep, dark green to a vibrant yellow. This hedge is well known for its denseness, providing you with a thick security hedge.
It was originally perceived as an ornamental tree in North America, before quickly overtaking and providing a bushy, thick and dense hedge. It is native to the UK and has tiny spines on it, and can grow to ten metres tall. In spring they have gorgeous yellow-green flowers that, when pollinated, turn into those glossy red berries it is famous for. If you were to peel back the bark of a Common Buckthorn tree or hedge you will see that the surface underneath is orange.
In history this hedge was used as a purgative, which apparently helped to heal the body and rid it of disease and illness. The only other use was to use the berries and the bark as a yellow dye. Due to the hardness and denseness of the wood, it was hardly ever used.
The berries are an irritant and poisonous to humans but provide food for wildlife such as bees and other insects. This is one of the few food sources for the bautiful Brimstone butterfly. The bark of the tree can also irritate skin, again making it an excellent hedge along with its thorns for privacy and preventing intruders.
It grows well in most soil types, and can grow in shade and sunlight, making it the perfect hedge for most gardens and landscapes with different environmental factors. Common Buckthorn plants are available in economical bare root form for planting during the winter season from November until mid April. For more information on our Common Buckthorn plants or any of our other hedging varieties, contact our specialist team members for more information.