Archive for the ‘Hints and Tips’ Category

Hot Topic- Blue Planet II, beautiful or devastating?

Plastic pollution has reached the very depths of our oceans, according to data released on behalf of Sky Ocean Rescue. A team led by scientists at Newcastle University has sampled organisms found in six of the world’s deepest ocean trenches.” Taken from skynews.com

In wake of the widely praised Blue Planet II, the topic of pollution in the Ocean and the amount of plastic being found in the deepest layers is a global concern. Plastic is being found inside the stomachs of many creatures and recently it was broadcasted a 5 mile stretch of plastic and waste was found floating in the Caribbean. This just shows the effect we are having on our eco-system with the use of plastic and how it is reaching the most remote and secluded areas, meaning the inhabitants of said areas are digesting materials that are foreign to their digestive systems.

 

“An estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic now litters the oceans, with more than 5 trillion plastic pieces – weighing over 250,000 tonnes – currently floating on the surface.” Taken from skynews.com

We are consciously told and informed about the effects pollution has on a numerous factors. The health of our Oceans, the air quality we are living in, welfare for wildlife, greenhouse gas contribution, just to name a few. Blue Planet II has shown us breath taking footage of never seen before creatures but it also highlights the deteriorating habitats that they live in,
“The health of our oceans is under threat. They’re changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history.” David Attenborough, Blue Planet II. I think the most disheartening factor is that all mentioned effects of pollution have one thing in common- they are caused by Humans.

 

Ocean pollution is a hot topic as of late and it is reassuring to see it was one of the main topics discussed in the budget that was announced this week. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, will announce in next week’s budget a “call for evidence” on how taxes or other charges on single-use plastics such as takeaway cartons and packaging could reduce the impact of discarded waste on marine and bird life, the Treasury has said.” Taken from theguardian.com. This proposal was greatly accepted and commended by wildlife groups. This is in line with the 5p single carrier bag charge that was introduced 2 years ago, which has resulted in a 85% reduction in their use in the first 6 months of being implemented. One of the biggest contributions to plastic pollution is coffee cups. Most coffee cups are lined with a layer of polyethylene which makes the cup waterproof, but makes it difficult for the cup to be effectively recycled, because it can’t be easily separated. Taken from sciencealaert.com The chancellor proposes a ‘deposit return scheme’.

Tisha Brown is an Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK and stated that, “Ocean plastic pollution is a global emergency, it is everywhere from the Arctic Ocean at top of the world to the Marianas trench at the bottom of the Pacific. It’s in whales, turtles and 90% of sea birds, and it’s been found in our salt, our tap water and even our beer.”

Fashion brands are also doing their part to help in this global emergency. Adidas have recently brought out a pair of trainers that are made entirely from Ocean plastic and there is an eyewear company called Sea2See Eyewear that is making boutique spectacles from plastic pollution.

“Sea2See employs local fishermen to collect the plastic that accumulates in trawler nets, which is then divided into what can be made into eyewear and what can be sold to other companies which recycle. It takes 10kg of plastic to make one pair of glasses…which given that there’s more than 8 million tonnes of the stuff being thrown into the ocean every year, is a pretty sustainable business model.”

Blue Planet II has done more than just introduce us to the weird and wonderful, viewers have had a front row seat to the damage we are causing to marine life and the devastating effects it is having on the creatures that call the ocean their home. We just hope that with all the new campaigns and legislation’s that are soon the be put into place, we are able to clean up the Oceans and restore habitats before it is too late.

Blue Planet II is shown Sundays on BBC1 at 8pm.

Fore more information, please see graphics below and visit these organisations:
Greenpeace
BBC Blue Planet II  
Plastic Oceans
WWF
Sea2see Eyewear

 

Gardening Essentials

As we wake up to frost on our cars and the heating bill increasing over the next few months, it’s safe to say that the love-hate relationship we have with Winter is upon us. Bare roots are being lifted and now is the perfect time to plant them in preparation for a bloom in spring. Here at Hedges Direct we have many planting essentials that can help the growth and development of your hedges and make Winter gardening that bit easier. 

Topsoil

When planting a new hedge or tree it is always advised to check the quality of your soil. Plants require a certain amount of nutrients in order to thrive and all plants look for these nutrients in the first 5-20 cm (2-8inches) of the soil, hence the name Topsoil! This is the ideal, easy solution to improving your soil ready for new plantings. Topsoil is a specially selected, graded product and, as the name suggests, is the top layer of the soil – the upper 2-8 inches to be more precise. This section of the soil plays an important role when planting new hedges and shrubs as it supplies the bulk of the nutrients and it’s where the majority of growth takes place for the first few growing seasons.

Topsoil has a variety of uses in the garden, suited to the planting of hedges, shrubs and trees, whilst also being beneficial to new turf. From levelling your planting surface to increasing the nutrient count in the soil, topsoil is the perfect planting product and reduces the need to apply further compost or fertiliser.

For all round improvement and a nutrient boost for new plants, topsoil is the go-to option.

Rootgrow

No garden should be without this planting companion. Made from a combination of native fungi, known as mycorrhizal fungi, Rootgrow is an all-natural product that is hugely beneficial to the roots of plants and the surrounding soil. When applied to the root system during planting, Rootgrow provides a sort of secondary root system that gives the plant easy access to the nutrients in the soil as well as reducing the impact of drought and other environmental factors that can affect establishment.

It only takes one Rootgrow treatment to reap the benefits and notice a difference to your plants within a few weeks.

 

How much will I need?

Rootgrow can be applied in a granule form, to sprinkle into the planting hole, or made into a gel, ideal for dipping bare roots. Except for the 150g packet, which is granule only, all of the Rootgrow sizes can be made into a gel formula or sprinkled. We recommend using the gel method for bare roots, as the paste will go much further and be more cost effective than granules. Use the table below to calculate how much Rootgrow you’ll need, note that we have based this table on the use of the gel for bare roots and granules for all others. Usage is approximate as root sizes vary by species.

Don’t forget if you are ordering Rootgrow with Box bare roots then please add 20% to the recommended usage level to allow for the large root system.

Well-rotted organic matter

Adding well-rotted organic matter such as compost or manure to your soil is both a traditional and effective way to improve your soil. You can start by improving the texture, digging into the soil and breaking up any large lumps which will be helpful to the root systems of new plants trying to establish. You can then dig in about half a wheel-barrow full of organic matter, ensuring as you dig back over you are making sure it’s fully incorporated into your soil.

The list of benefits associated with adding organic matter to your soil include: increasing the nutrients in the soil; improving the structure which provides easy access to the nutrients; improving the water holding capability; and attracting worms and other insects that play a part in continually improving the health of your soil.

 

 

The Landscape Show 2017 & Why To Choose Hedges Direct

The Landscape Show 2017

Recently Hedges Direct attended the annual Landscape show. “A trade event dedicated to qualified garden designers, landscape architects and contractors. It is a platform for them to network and source market-leading products to use in high end projects worldwide.” taken from landscapeshow.co.uk. The team chatted to many landscapers about what we do how we can help. It was great for the team and the day was filled with giving and receiving advice and knowledge, we also gave away a free bottle of bubbly to a lucky winner! We can’t wait for 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why do Landscapers use Hedges Direct?

Here at Hedges Direct we pride ourselves in the highly established relationships we have with landscapers across the country. With over a decade of experience in the horticultural industry and a wide range of the finest suppliers and growers, we are confident that we can provide landscapers with everything they need for projects large or small.

Availability

Our friendly staff are on hand 6 days a week (7 in peak seasons) to offer immediate, bespoke quotes guaranteed to beat our competitor’s prices and unrivalled advice should you need it. Available by phone or email and if you’re busy at the time but want to talk to our staff, you can request a call back and one of our team members will get back to you within the hour.

Our range of fantastic Stock

We have a wide range of stock to satisfy even the most diverse of your customer briefs. Over the past ten years our product range has grown to successfully achieve an increasing range of project objectives. We now supply over 100 hedge plant species, and almost all are available in every root type; cell grown, pot grown, bare roots, root balls and professionally maintained instant hedge units for an immediate garden feature. We have all heights of hedging from 10cm to 9m and even larger specs available with this years’ addition of extra tall root ball plants in our most popular species. We know that our landscapers are faced with large garden projects which is why we offer discounted pallet deals so they can achieve these big projects when restricted to a budget.

In addition to our wide selection of hedging, we offer pleached, topiary, ornamental trees, turf, and a selection of the best planting essentials in the market.

We have a great relationship with some of the finest growers in the industry. When you order from us you can rest assured you will receive high quality plants as they are grown in perfect conditions by professionals with generations of experience. With this supply base, we are able to source external products so if we don’t stock what you’re looking for, we can source it for you.

We offer simple, quick and convenient delivery solutions

It’s important for landscapers that delivery is prompt and on time with no hassle, the last thing they want is to turn up to a new job and be stood twiddling their thumbs waiting for the plants to arrive.

Using our experience in dispatch and logistics, we can assure our landscapers that our delivery is made accurately and on time. Most orders are despatched within 3-5 working days with the option of next day delivery available, just call us on 01257 263873 when placing your order to see if we can get your plants to you the following day. We can guarantee landscapers AM delivery at no extra cost or at a time more suitable to them at a location of their choice. We don’t require a signature upon delivery so we can deliver them to the project location before you arrive. We take great care in selecting our currier partners so our plants arrive to you in perfect condition. We like to save landscapers money whenever we can so for order over £50, delivery is on the house!

Ive been delighted with Hedges Direct, they’re reliable in both their delivery arrangements and the quality of their stock. Deliveries on the day and at the time that I needed them”  Helen Voisey, MSGD & BALI Registered Designer, Helen Voisey Garden Design, Leeds.

 

The Hedging Network!

You may have already heard about the The Hedging Network through one of our email newsletters or read about in numerous trade publications. As a nationwide supplier of hedging plants (amongst other things) we are regularly asked by our customers for recommended horticulture experts in their area, and until now, we did not have a complete referral solution. The Hedging Network was created to bring together a selection of reputable and experienced landscapers and garden designers from around the country, in order to display their contact details in one location.

Joining The Hedging Network allows your company details to be visible to the thousands of potential customers browsing our website every day. As an Approved Member, our Sales team are able to refer customers directly to you when placing their order. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from Approved Members and it’s completely FREE to join!

In addition to your contact details being visible within our database, a direct link to your website will also be included so that browsing customers can easily access more information if it was needed. An Approved Member has full access to our approved badge which can be displayed on your website so you can showcase your membership and advertise that your company demonstrates the high level of quality service and expertise required to meet The Hedging Network criteria. We also broadcast our new joiners on our social media pages, reaching even more clientele.

We’re a social bunch at Hedges Direct and continuously share the relationship we have with our Approved Members through our various social media accounts. Our Approved Members frequently send pictures of the projects they have completed with our products, which are then shared to our thousands of social media fans and followers. These posts include a link to your website and a mention of your relationship with us to exhibit the high level of trust we have with your services.

 

Hedges & Pollution

Recently we have been featured in an article by the evening standard on pollution within the city and how hedging can help tackle the problem of air pollution. The harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placing low hedges along roads in a built-up environment of cities instead of taller trees, a new study has found. Hedges are often better than trees at soaking up air pollution, with their lower growth heights they can trap toxins from an exhaust pipe level. Scientists and professors have said that councils should consider planting hedging between pedestrians and the streets, if the pavement size permits. Despite their potential to improve air quality in the most polluted parts of towns, hedges are more commonly found in the suburbs rather than the city.

The use of trees in helping pollution levels is still vast and should not be dismissed, more a continuation of planting, however it is said that hedging has been neglected and their benefits overlooked.

 

“Dr Kumar, of Surrey University, told BBC News: “The big thing about hedges is that they are right down at tailpipe level.

“The emissions from vehicles starts to dilute very quickly as you move away from the road – so any hedge that acts as a barrier slowing down the airflow and catching pollutants on the leaves is going to offer people in homes better protection.”” Taken from BBC news article.

The main areas affected by pollution and in need of new ways to eliminate toxins are mainly in the city,

“Urban air quality continues to be a primary health concern as most of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas (54% in 2014), and percentage is projected to rise to 66% by 2050; this is coupled with the fact that one of the main global sources of air pollution in cities is traffic emissions.” Taken from The Tree Council

Professor Kumar said scientists were currently investigating which species of hedge plant made the best pollution absorbent. At Hedges Direct we would suggest species like Western Red Cedar due to its dense leaves. Not only will it help the environment, it is also very attractive when it’s fully matured with its vibrant fronds that are mid-dark green. Other species like Yew, Portuguese Laurel and Lonicera Nitdia would be a valuable choice also.

How to plant a bare root hedge

Bare Root hedging offers a great, cost-effective solution to hedging at home. Generally, bare root plants are deciduous so they can seem slightly disappointing when they arrive as the plants will be dormant. However, what you really get is a substantial root system and a decent amount of stem (depending on the age/height) and side shoots. Once you plant your bare roots and spring arrives you will soon see your plants flourish and realise you have made a fantastic investment!

Bare root hedging is one of the most cost effective methods in hedging planting. They cost less to grow and once they are planted they are left in the fields for years (until ready for purchase) instead of being re-potted year on year. As this root type is only available when the plants are completely dormant, from November to late April/early May, they can only be delivered and planted during this period (exact dates of the season depend on the weather each year). Please watch our video on how to plant a bare root hedge, we have used Yew hedging to demonstrate.

It is important to note that there is a failure rate attached to bare root hedging plants – 10% for most species. However, we find that when planted with Rootgrow all plants establish better, with a low failure rate.

Rootgrow contains Mycorrhizal fungi which is a living organism, essential to all plant root development, which enables plants to extract nutrients and absorb moisture more efficiently – it’s like Yakult for plants! Rootgrow will improve your hedges disease and drought resistance, soil condition, fruit and flower production and the shock caused by transplanting, planting with Rootgrow will result in triple the growth rate compared to none treated plants. Hedging planted with Rootgrow will experience better, earlier growth with fewer losses. Only one treatment of Rootgrow is needed to support the plant for its entire lifetime. For more information on the how to use Rootgrow, please watch the video on how to use Rootgrow Gel, which is what we used in our demonstration video.

 

 

For the love of dog! Prune Dogwood now to get radiant colour in winter.

Dogwood varieties are invaluable in winter, their fiery colours and stunning architectural displays are emphasised by the surrounding dismal weather, bare beds and colourless plants. They truly come into their own over winter taking centre stage in any winter garden design.

Dogwoods aren’t just for Christmas! These vibrant plants need to be nurtured in order for you to get the best of their wondrous winter display. Brighter colours are emitted by new growth therefore strategic pruning allows this plant to re-establish throughout the year, ready for winter.

The ideal time and method to prune Dogwood for a winter spectacle is in late March to mid-April, just before the new growth develops. Cut back almost a third of the stem, we suggest keeping the stems about 5-20cm above ground level. It’s a hardy plant so it can withstand such a harsh prune and has a fast growth rate you can cut into the back rest assured that it will grow back. Take a look at the image below of a trimmed Dogwood hedge.

Take a look at our ultimate guide to Dogwood hedge plants for more information on this colourful shrub.

Winners of the Sales Team of the Year award

Hedges Direct was awarded sales team of the year at the Garden Retail Awards 2017. Leading industry title Horticulture Week hosted the awards at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London with host for the night comedian, Jo Caulfield. The event was very much a success with over 300 landscapers and garden professionals in attendance.

Sales team of the year

We wanted to put ourselves forward to recognise our outstanding achievement throughout the year and celebrate success in driving the business forward. Our team were so overwhelmed when we were shortlisted for three awards, and not only did we scoop sales team of the year, but we also went away with a highly commended within the Customer Service Team of the Year category.

“We’re thrilled to have won Sales Team of the Year at the Garden Retail Awards. Our team has over 100 years of combined horticultural experience and that plays a big part in the service we provide to our customers. We have lots of exciting developments in store for 2017 so hopefully we’ll have even more to celebrate next year!”

– Michael McVey, Managing Director

Celebrating our Sales Success

The company has experienced huge growth in 11 years of trading, going from a laptop and a shed to a market leader with over 40 staff. None of this growth would have been possible without an excellent sales technique that continues to drive the company forward.

Our sales staff are experts in the field as they guide the customer through the often confusing process of choosing a hedge, planting and aftercare. They also post impressive sales figures that consistently improve year on year and as a result of their hard work, the company’s turnover has increased 28% on the previous year.

A recent change in the organisation of our customer facing team means that we now have a team dedicated to the care and service of our existing customers and ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible. The team are also fully prepped to advise new customers on which plants best suit their needs and ensuring the ordering process is simple. The creation of this new team also means that our sales team can focus their time on new or returning business, ensuring that their efforts are contributing directly to increasing revenue.

Customer Service Excellence

Customers are imperative to success and we pride ourselves on the high levels of customer service we provide. Independent review site, ‘Feefo’, holds over 17,000 customer reviews in which we have a 96% rating. This incredible percentage stems from the dedicated and highly experienced staff who offer expert advice for each individual planting objective along every step of the way.

Year upon year our customer service team grows and matures just like the plants we sell and this year is no different. With additional team members, updated online systems and new relationships with distributers and growers,we are able to help customers in every way possible.

Online Innovation

Hedges Direct were also shortlisted for the Online Excellence Award. Across our two sister sites we received 2.2 million visitors in 2016, a 33.6% uplift on the previous year’s traffic.

With an ever increasing online catalogue of over 100 hedge plant species from a wide range of growers in the UK and Europe, Hedges Direct can proudly boast being experts in the horticultural field. Working within a business that has achieved so many incredible things in its decade trading has stamped an incredible atmosphere on the teams at Hedges Direct. We achieved record turnover, introduced a significant amount of new products and found new ways to offer an exceptional service to our customers.

Plant For A Spring Spectacle

As we turn our backs on winter it’s time to focus on spring and if like me, you’re eager to see new leaf growth, flowers and fruits, Hedges Direct have a great selection of plants with spring interest to satisfy our impatience.

For those wanting features as soon as possible, species such as Blackthorn, Flowering Currant and Forsythia boast beautiful flowers early in the season, so early that new leaves haven’t started to appear yet! Gorse also produce early spring flowers, but being evergreen, its buttery yellow flowers stand out next to the spiky green leaves that remain year round.

The UK didn’t have a white Christmas but you can bring this stunning colour to your garden in spring as Dog Wood, Hawthorn, Pyracantha, Viburnum lantana, June Berry and Wild Cherry, all produce white flowers in different shapes and sizes.

Alternatively, brightly coloured flowers appear on Hypericum, Berberis, Purple Leaf Sand Cherry, Weigela and Potentilla. To get the most of your flowering plants, there are some great tips on pruning spring flowering shrubs in this short video from Gardener’s World Magazine.

You can also access fantastic spring colour with the long awaited new growth of Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, which offers beautiful displays of red glossy leaves.

Christen the season with catkins! These long, hanging fruits dangle from the branches of Alder, Hazel, Hornbeam and Willow, attracting a range of British birds and other wildlife to your garden.

The species mentioned above are just a handful of spring spectacles. We’ve included a list of our entire collection of plants that offer fantastic interest in spring below:

 

Hedges Direct Provide Plants For Kingsground Community Project

Hedges Direct recently received an order to help a community project in Eltham. The project was run by Greenwich Conservatives and aimed to screen an area on a busy street in order to provide flats with privacy and prevent a build-up of rubbish discarded by the public.

Matt Clare, the Transport and Environment spokesperson for the Greenwich Conservatives was more than happy to share some information and pictures of the mission.

You can see their planting area below, unfortunately, this open area was littered with a substantial amount of rubbish thrown away by passers-by.

After getting the rubbish cleared up and new bins installed at a nearby bus stop, Matt and his team of volunteers began their work.

They planted pot grown Cherry Laurel plants in a single row spaced around a foot apart, using a spade to dig a hole big enough to simply take the root system out of the pot and plant into the ground.

Top Tip: It is important to break up the roots once removed from their pots to allow them to travel and find their own space in their new position. 

Cherry Laurel plants were chosen for their dense foliage which, when fully grown, will have merged into a close-knit feature that will prevent people from throwing rubbish into the grounds, provide residents with more privacy and help absorb noise pollution from the busy roads.

Being an evergreen species, a Cherry Laurel hedge will keep its lush green leaves offering an effective screen year round. It can either be trimmed to shape to form a more structured look, or left to grow for a naturalistic appearance.

Matt Clare said “Many passers-by spoke to us to share how pleased they were at seeing improvements and a local Facebook group have also been very complimentary. We are speaking with other private landlords in Eltham and very much hope to deliver other projects like this”.

Well done to Matt and his hard working volunteers.

If you have a community project you want to share, get in touch with the marketing department by email marketing@hedgesdirect.co.uk or give us a call on 01257 263873.

Popular pests and diseases to look out for

Our gardens are our sanctuary, a place where we can escape into our own little patch of nature. We pride ourselves in the time and effort it takes to make our backyards one to show off. So, to ensure our gardens remain impeccable is to keep it healthy and one of the best ways to maintain a healthy garden is to familiarise yourself with the common garden pests and diseases.

Not every leaf spot, scab or miscolour is an indication of a pest infestation or fungal/bacterial disease, some symptoms are caused by planting conditions or environmental stress. It’s important to spot early signs of pests or diseases as precautions can be made to prevent any unwanted damage as the sooner a pest or disease is identified, the easier it is to eliminate.

But what are the main signs to look out for? Here is some information and expert advice on the 10 most common pests and diseases of hedging plants in the UK, including what to look for and how to deal with them.

Firstly, pests. As all gardeners are aware, there’s always some kind of pest eating away at your plants, but that’s just nature. It doesn’t mean your garden is fighting off an infestation as the healthiest of gardens have all types of bugs which do a sterling job in all sorts of ways, from helping to decompose plant matter, enriching the soil, to aiding with pollination, letting your plants blossom. However, it’s the ‘bad bugs’ which warrant action. Here’s a list of the most conventional UK pests we encounter in our gardens and some advice on stopping them.

Aphids

Aphids are the first on our list as this 3mm long insect is the most common pest your hedge plants will encounter. This sap sucking bug will usually infest young, soft growing tips of plants in spring and summer. With over 500 species in the UK, they are mostly referred to as ‘greenfly’ or ‘blackfly’ but come in all kinds of colours such as yellow, light green and even pink, with some covered in a woolly layer, as with the beech woolly aphid. Aphids multiply quickly, but move slowly so with early identification and correct methods of removal, they are relatively easy to control.

aphids

Aphids themselves are difficult to see however the impact of an aphid infestation is visible to the naked eye. Look for misshapen, curling leaves with a yellowing distortion. You can also check the underside of affected leaves as these troublesome bugs tend to hide there. If leaves or stems are covered with a sticky honeydew, this is an indication of an aphid infestation as this substance is produced by the insect as waste.

Natural predators will do their best to reduce the presence of aphids however you can get rid of them by wiping the infested leaves with a damp cloth or spraying with cold water. Chemical control is also available or use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

 

 

 

Scale insects

Another sap sucking insect, is the Scale, these are limpet-like insects with a protective shell-like casing. There are more than 25 species of scale insect and they are active all year round.

scale

They weaken the growth of young plants, and some species produce white egg masses on stems and on the undersides of leaves. Like aphids, they too leave behind a sticky honeydew substance as a manifestation of their presence.

It is possible to remove scale insects with a brush and warm soapy water or you can purchase an effective insecticide spray.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter moth caterpillars

When discussing winter moth caterpillars, we are not referring to one specific pest. Winter moth is a common name given to the species that have adult moths, they are present and lay eggs from November to April. This name can be deceiving to us gardeners as these insects do all of their damage during the caterpillar stage and can lead us searching for the wrong pest. The caterpillars appear in spring, chewing their way through new growth, leaving holes in leaves and disfigured foliage behind.

Using pesticides in late March to April will prevent winter moths from infesting your plants as they have not hatched, leaving them vulnerable to chemical control. In conjunction with this, attracting birds to your garden is an effective way of eliminating hatched winter moth caterpillars. These insects are favoured among bird species such as tits, so encouraging them with the correct bird food or planting bird friendly hedging will benefit you and your efforts to prevent a winter moth caterpillar strike.

Spider Mites

If you’re a greenhouse gardener, these insects may be your number one enemy as they enjoy wreaking havoc on indoor plants, but will also enjoy attacking outdoor plants, especially Buxus sempervirens. Spider mites are made up of around 1,200 species, live in colonies and are often found on the underside of plant leaves. They leave tiny yellowish green mites and egg shells under affected leaves and if left untreated, a heavy infestation will see fine silk webbing in addition to leaves losing their colour, turning yellow, and may dry up and fall off.

spider-mites

We recommend discarding the use of pesticides as they are quick to develop resistance to them. Regular clipping of the hedge, ensuring that the clippings are disposed of immediately, is an effective way to prevent spider mites from infesting your healthy plants. Insecticidal soaps, horticultural oil or simply washing your plants with a strong blast of cold water are all valuable methods of removing spider mites.

 

 

 

 

 

Vine Weevil

Vine weevil is a beetle known to infest a wide range of ornamental trees, hedging plants and fruits with the tendency to favour plants kept in containers. These 10mm, dull black bugs can be found on plants in spring and summer and will leave irregular notches on the leaves as a sign of their plague. Adult weevils are difficult to find as they mostly come out at night. Give your plant a good shake if there are vine weevils present, as they will fall off your plant when force is administered. In addition to the vine weevil beetle, in autumn and winter, root-eating, soil borne grubs target the roots of a plant which will inevitably cause plants to weaken and die.

vine

Precautions can be made to prevent a vine weevil attack such as chemical and physical control. Check your planting areas, root balls and pots for vine weevils before planting or repotting. There are also a number of insecticides that can be used to treat damaged plants and give protection against a potential attack.

Fungal Diseases

It’s recorded that around 85% of most plant diseases are caused by fungal-like organisms. Their symptoms result in miscolouring, leaf markings and unusual substances covering the surfaces of plants.

 

 

 

Honey fungus

According to the RHS, honey fungus has been the most commonly reported garden disease for 20 years running and is deemed to be the most damaging fungal diseases in the UK. Made up of several destructive species, honey fungus spreads underground attacking the roots of healthy trees, shrubs, hedging, woody and perennial plants.

honey

Honey fungus hinders the growth of developing leaves, whilst causing mature leaves to become pale. At ground level, white fungal growth appears between bark and wood and in some cases, golden brown mushrooms appear briefly on infected stumps, usually in autumn. Honey fungus is a tough disease to get rid of, often digging out the affected shrubs and surrounding plants is the only option to minimise potential spread to other parts of the garden. If you have a known honey fungus contamination in your area, we have a number of plants resistant to this disease. Species such as Box, Hornbeam, Griselinia, Lavender, Lonicera nitida, Yew, Holly, Hebe, Hazel and Blackthorn – all are great choices.

 

 

 

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which occurs on specific species and targets the foliage and stems. Often associated with water stress, powdery mildew appears in summer and autumn. If your plants are experiencing this disease, it can be easily identified as a white powdered substance will be materialise on the foliage.

powdery

You can neutralize powdery mildew both naturally and chemically. Raking autumn leaves and disposing of them will impact the level of water stress your diseased plants will encounter. There are also heaps of chemical products to treat powdery mildew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phytophthora

Phytophthora is a genus of plant-damaging Oomycetes that can also have a negative effect in natural ecosystems. This fungal disease attacks the root system and is the common cause of root and stem base decay of a wide range of trees and shrubs. Its presence derives from heavy or waterlogged soils causing large roots to appear blackened and finer roots to rot away. Above the ground symptoms arise once the root decay is well advanced. Deciduous plants will yellow and branches are likely to die back, whereas conifer plants will turn a dark matt green or brown.

As this disease is caused by waterlogged soil, it is important to improve the drainage with grit or land drains and for potted plants, ensure the pots have an effective drainage system.  If you are experiencing a Phytophthora infestation, remove and destroy all infected plants and replace topsoil in effected areas as soon as possible. To fully avoid this disease, you can plant species which are less susceptible to Phytophthora, such as Berberis, Hornbeam, Leylandii, Hazel, Hawthorn, Photinia and Western Red Cedar.

Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial Canker

Bacterial Canker (Pseudomonas syringae) is a disease caused by two closely related bacteria that affect the stems and leaves of a number of the Prunus genus, although Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry laurel) and Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese laurel) are more resistant to this bacterial disease than their relative species.

This disease is also known as ‘shothole disease’ as infected plants display small brown patches on its leaves in midsummer, which eventually fall out to leave small round holes. Alongside these unsightly leaf disfigurations, sunken dead areas of bark will joined by a gluey ooze.

To prevent Bacterial Canker from infecting your plants, carrying out all pruning in July or August when tissues are more resistant is an effective way to reduce the chance of infection. On infected plants, cut out all cankered areas, pruning back to healthy wood. You can then paint all pruning wounds with a wound paint to protect your plant from reinfection. While mentioning the possibility of reinfection, it’s important to remove and destroy these cuttings.

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Hedging plants such as Cotoneaster, Hawthorn, Photinia and Pyracantha can be effected by this waterborne bacteria. Most apparent in late spring and autumn, this disease attacks the shoots of blossoms, giving the plant the appearance of drying out and sun scorching. Cankers on branches, especially where infected shoots join larger branches appear and a slimy white liquid will leak from infections in wet weather.

Prune and destroy all signs of infection immediately, soaking your cutting tools with disinfectant between cuts to avoid spreading the bacteria. Jersey fluid or methylated spirits are recommended by the RHS.

Here at Hedges Direct, we ensure that all of our stock is pest and disease free. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above but are unsure on whether you can correctly diagnose your plants, we have an expert service team who are more than happy to help identify any pest or disease infestation and offer advice. We simply require you send in some pictures of the plants in question to helpdesk@hedgesdirect.co.uk