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Which Type Of Hedge Is Right For Me?

Hedges are a fantastic investment for many properties. Not only do they provide privacy for gardens and outdoor spaces, but they give shelter from the wind, create shade, act as a natural sound barrier and could potentially increase your home security (when compared to a fence). Even better, most hedges only require pruning and trimming every so often to keep them looking their best – much less hassle than repairing and repainting fences, or maintaining walls. 

There are also some great eco reasons to consider planting a hedge. You can attract wildlife to your garden, add colour and stabilise the soil as well as improve its drainage. 

But if you’re stuck with what to choose, or want to find out more about types of hedge here in the UK, then you’re in the right place. We’ll cover all that – and a few other useful things, like hedge maintenance – in this blog post. 

Common hedge types in the UK

The Woodland Trust says that hedges boost beauty and biodiversity in your garden. Some of the varieties you could consider are laurel, conifer and privet. 

The most popular kinds of laurel are cherry and Portuguese. In fact, the cherry laurel is often simply called ‘common laurel’. It’s known for its thick, rounded, glossy leaves. Alternatively, Portuguese laurel has darker leaves with pink stems, and produces white flowers in a spray formation. 

Another species of hedge that’s found throughout gardens in the UK is privet. These are evergreen plants with rounded, smooth leaves studded with black or purple berries and delicate clusters of white flowers, which attract bees and wildlife. Privet is a hardy plant and strong-grower.
A third hedge type you might be familiar with is the conifer. One type you’re likely to come across in gardens across the UK is the Leylandii, but there are many other kinds, including the pine, fur, larch, spruce and cedar. Nearly all of them produce cones.

Weighing up your options 

With privet, conifer and laurel hedges all a great choice for homeowners across the UK, which is right for you and your space? Here are a few pros and cons of each species to consider. 


Lush and green, and featuring beautifully scented white flowers, this annually-blooming hedge adds colour and fragrance to your outdoor space. However, be prepared for pruning privet fairly regularly as their fast growth requires a fair bit of looking after. Additionally, privet can be poisonous to pets.


Coniferous plants are all fast growers, and are admired for their rich variety of colours – from darkest green to golden yellow. They also have a long lifespan when cared for properly. But, there are downsides. Some kinds don’t do well in the UK climate, and they can be a pain to prune – with most kinds not able to regrow from old wood. As well as this, some homeowners struggle with brown patches on these plants, which can be caused by pests, disease and poor pruning technique, so take care when conifer hedge trimming.


Laurel bushes are lush, bright and attractive in any garden – but be warned, as they can be a magnet for pests. When it comes to cutting laurel hedges, they can be tricky to keep on top of – and have the potential to spread invasively if not kept under control. Another drawback of this hedge type is that its leaves can cause allergies.

Hedge maintenance

Looking after your new plants – whatever the species – is simple with a few handy tools. Here’s what to invest in for hedge maintenance:

  • Secateurs: These are like small garden scissors, perfect for small branches. Try them out, next time you do some conifer hedge trimming.
  • Pruners: Next up, these can easily deal with medium branches, though you may want a telescopic tree pruner for those higher up. Pruners are handy to have for cutting laurel hedges.
  • Shears: Branches hanging low to the ground? These can sort those out in a snip – and create that perfect finishing touch at the end of your privet pruning. 

For taller or larger hedges, you might need more advanced equipment – whether it’s a petrol-fuelled hedge trimmer or even a chainsaw. You could also consider a pruning saw for woody stems and branches. 

Tree services for all kinds of hedge

Our team is here to help homeowners in Bromley and South East London manage their plants, bushes and trees – so we offer an array of services to keep your garden in check. You could consider:

  • Trimming: For cutting laurel hedges, pruning privet or conifer hedge trimming, our hedge cutting contractors can manage all your hedge maintenance. 
  • Clearing: Need to make space before you plant? No problem. We can even take care of tree removal and stump grinding, if needed. 
  • Surgery: Our qualified tree surgeons can manage signs of disease, damage and even pests, carefully managing the health and appearance of your hedge. 

To book any of our arborealist services, including hedge cutting contractors, in South East London and Bromley, talk to our experienced tree surgeons today. 

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