What time of year to plant a "shrubbery"?

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DanielCoffey

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What time of year to plant a "shrubbery"?
« on: March 11, 2018, 21:54 »
I would appreciate some advice on when in the year folks tend to put in "shrubbery plants" so that I can plan. Here is the idea...

We are in a rural area in South Ayrshire and have half an acre that had some sickly trees that were cleared before we built on it. We need to replant two of the sides (45 meters and 35 meters) with trees and shrubbery/hedges to satisfy Planning requirements. While I know that trees go in as bare root over the Winter, I don't know what season folks tend to establish shrubberies.

We have missed this year's bare root season because of all the wet over the Winter. We have only just had the field drains put in so that the site can dry out. From the top down, the surface is about six inches of wood chippings from the tree felling last Autumn. Next is six inches of sticky compacted orange clay courtesy of our builders last year. It is heavily compacted and has hardcore mixed in. Underneath that is the natural dark clay soil which is rich in plant material.

Now it is draining properly, I am about to go over it multiple times with a heavy rotavator (2-wheel tractor type) over the course of this summer, stone picking as I go then dress it with temporary Utility Grass mix.

Next Winter (2018/2019) I intend to put Standard Sessile Oaks on the corners and midpoints, space shorter Scottish native trees such as Crabapple, Whitebeam and Rowan between those then fill in the gaps with informal shrubbery to create wildlife shelter and food sources. I am talking about the sort of waist to chest high things you can go over with the hedge trimmer once a year to keep it in proportion.

I have not planned species yet but I don't know if shrubbery plants go in as bare root in Winter or potted at other times of year.

What are your opinions please?

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New shoot

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Re: What time of year to plant a "shrubbery"?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 07:53 »
It is mainly deciduous trees and hedging that you can buy bare root, although that includes a lot of native flowering and fruiting hedging that could fit the bill regarding the wildlife aspect. 

If you want some evergreens, you could look at root-balled shrubs.  These are field grown, lifted and the root ball is wrapped.  They are available late autumn to Jan/Feb time.  I've bought them for potting up in a plant nursery.  There isn't a huge choice of varieties, but they are cheaper than potted shrubs. 

Potted stuff is pretty much open to planting when you prefer, as long as the soil is not frozen, waterlogged or parched, plus a huge variety of things are available this way.  Garden centres will have most choice in spring, but a lot have a big clear-out in the run up to the winterval season, so it can be a good time to pick up bargains if you want some more ornamental stuff in the mix.

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DanielCoffey

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Re: What time of year to plant a "shrubbery"?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 22:06 »
Many thanks for the information. It is good to know I can get some rootball plants in next winter when the standard trees and fruit trees go in.

I'll save the softer things like lavender and rosemary till next summer when the soil is improved and I can build up some mounds for them to sit on. At the moment the soil is very much clay but if I mound up some lighter topsoil in places where there is better drainage, we can have those too.



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