Trimming European Beech to Maintain Hedge Form

(Question)

At the back lot line of my Toronto property, in front of my 6 foot fence, I have planted European beech to create a screening hedge that I will likely keep at 10 feet high and maybe three feet wide. Any tips on when is the best time of year to clip and do I just take off the outside ‘stragglers’ to form a straight line hedge or do you recommend taking some of the older wood stems back to the main trunk?

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Beech is a very popular hedge to plant due to its beautiful leaves. After they turn brown in autumn, they will hang onto the branches right through the winter. If you have  located your hedge in  a sunny location with good drainage then your hedge will grow well.

I would like to refer you to a similar question entitled Pruning Beech Hedges which was posted to our website which gives instructions on the proper technique required to prune your beech hedge.

You might also like to refer to the following websites which illustrate the proper technique of beech hedge pruning.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=83

https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-prune-beech-and-hornbeam-hedges/