Why Buy Our Hedging Trees?
- Our hedging trees are plug plants which can be planted all year round. No rush to plant as roots are not exposed.
- Grown in the North UK which makes the plants much hardier (used to bad weather and political scandal)
- Very easy to plant, little cultivation required and very high success rate.
- Our trees are covered by a FREE TREE WARRANTY. (first 15% not covered)
- Plants do not "check" when planted so rapid early growth.
- Root plug contains both naturally occurring mycorrhizae and fertilizer.
- Growing containers eliminate root spiralling.
- FREE DELIVERY (UK Mainland only).
Blackthorn or Sloe (Prunus spinosa) Hedging Trees
A native, deciduous, almost grow anywhere British hedging tree, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is generally planted as part of native hedging mixture, consisting of species, such as Hawthorn, Hazel , Dog Rose , Elder and Crab Apple , but there is no reason why it cannot be planted as a pure Blackthorn hedge, especially if you are after year round interest and animal hedging.
A dark barked, attractive and useful hedging species because it forms a dense, very spiny hedge which produces masses of small white flowers from February to March (among the first to flower) before the leaves in spring, and secondly, because it produces large numbers of 10-15 mm wide juicy fruits called drupes in Autumn. The fruits are commonly known as sloes and despite their succulent appearance are very bitter. Telling your unknowing partner that they are very sweet and well worth putting several in your mouth at a time will possibly get you a slap and the silent treatment for a while but the face they pull is very well worth it. Drupes or Sloes will have a waxy covering the purple to blue fruits and are ripe in Autumn when they are closer to a shiny black. Blackthorn fruits have a green flesh with a stone inside. Purists will say to harvest after the first frost as this makes them sweeter by reducing the tannins and this is usually after October. You can reproduce this effect by placing in the freezer.
Blackthorn is a popular choice for animal borders because of the 6cm long thorns and for the same reason, security hedging. Also popular for those wishing to make preserves, Sloe Gin and other edible products.
Should you have particularly poor soil then consider planting Blackthorn as a pioneer species. These are trees or plants that do particularly well in poor conditions and over a period of time with their leaf fall, attracting other animals etc contribute to the fertility of its surroundings allowing other species to prosper.
Blackthorn plants grown outside the UK can have different flowering and fruiting times making them out of phase with local wildlife. All Blackthorn purchased from Trees Online are UK grown in North UK making them used to harsher conditions.
Planting Prunus Spinosa Blackthorn/Sloe Trees
Suitable for coastal planting, dry and wet sites, exposed and hostile. Now we need to clarify a few points here, as we know we will be challenged on them. What we mean by coastal is a normal garden or field that experiences coastal winds most likely laden with salt spray. We do not mean Submarine window boxes! A dry site is usually one in the South of England and/or has very light/sandy soil with little organic matter in it. A wet site will be one that retains a lot of water in the soil after a heavy downpour. Exposed and hostile sites are those that are subject to high winds, weather extremes and poor quality soil.
Blackthorn is not a fan of shade so the more sun it can get the better. It will be ok in partial shade, just better results to be had in the sun.
Considered a fully UK hardy plant (zone 4 which means down to minus 30 degrees centigrade) , it can be planted almost anywhere without major issue. This statement excludes Army artillery ranges, secret Agent Orange testing facilities and other similar environments.
How many Blackthorn hedging trees do I need for hedging?
We recommend planting 6 plants per metre using the double staggered hedge method as this gives you a thicker hedge and if a plant dies, the gap can be covered over somewhat.
Maintaining Prunus Spinosa Blackthorn/Sloe Trees
Prune to shape and/or maintain height and width. Should you leave Blackthorn to its own devices, expect a single tree to grow to around 4m at a rate of around 30cm per year.
One of the downsides to Blackthorn trees is that they sucker readily which means it will spread. This can be a good thing in the early years as it will thicken out your hedge however after that, you may need to give it a good pruning just to keep it in shape.
General Prunus Spinosa Blackthorn/Sloe Trees Information
Blackthorn hedges can take a real beating and still bounce back. A forest fire and over-pruning will only slow the hedge down and it laughs in the face of Honey Fungus. Well, we say laugh, it can certainly muster a wry smile and mutter an insult under its breath.
Blackthorn trees are native to Western Asia, Northwest Africa and Europe.
Should you forget to prune it, expect an individual tree to reach 5m tall.
Blackthorn trees are a good choice for firewood as it is slow burning and emits little smoke.
Over 150 insects are supported by the Blackthorn. We mean as in food, not Maintenance payments.
Apparently, a five-thousand-year-old mummy was found with Sloes inside his stomach which is not really reassurance for Sloes being edible!
Birds such as Wood Pigeon, Whitethroat, Finches and Blackbirds use the hedge as a nesting site.
The flowers and leaves of the Blackthorn tree are edible. Some cultures dry the leaves and use them for tea, apparently good for diarrhoea. Sloe Syrup has been used for rheumatic problems and to fight flu and the Sloes are made into a tooth-whitening paste (now we know where Colgate gets their marketing ideas from!)
The leaves and seed contain very low levels of Hydrogen Cyanide, too low to cause any major harm however Hydrogen Cyanide has been shown to improve respiration and digestion.
It is rumoured that the crown of thorns for Jesus was made of Blackthorn and that bringing Blackthorn blossom into the house would bring about an imminent death. Before anyone asks, we do not know how effective or accurate this is before you start making a floral Blackthorn display for your mother-in-law.
When the high tanning content bark is been boiled in an alkali, it produces a yellow dye.
The Sloes are juiced and used to make an astringent face mask.
19th Century land owners buried bundles of Blackthorn, Gorse and Elm to improve land drainage.
Due to its ornamental properties and hardness, Blackthorn wood has been used extensively in the manufacture of walking stick handles and other such ornate carvings. It takes a real shine to polish (pun intended).
See What Our Customers Are Saying About Our Prunus Spinosa Blackthorn/Sloe Trees
Hi Alan, just to let you know I received my hedging *Prunus Spinosa Blackthorn/Sloe Trees and crab apple - thanks very much, they were packed beautifully and are all planted - but not yet received my rowan tree from order no.28077. I'm sure it's on its way, Many thanks, Karen Murphy 0121 20-40cm option.
Hi Alan. The aspens and blackthorn have arrived safely and in excellent condition. They'll be potted up into Long Toms when the temperature rises above freezing and planted up at Rannoch next autumn 0117
The hedging arrived, swiftly and in very good condition. I am impressed how healthy they are and that they are a good size. I understand the surcharge to our postcode and your prices are competitive so I would definitely use your company again and recommend you to every gardener. I will try and send a photo in situ, when the snow clears.Margaret 0115
Thank you for the great service. Blackthorn trees arrived in excellent condition on the expected day. Will be planting this weekend. Juanita 1114
Delighted with the service I received from Treesonline. My order (which included Blackthorn trees) arrived very quickly and the trees were in beautiful condition. I even got more Blackthorn than I was expecting. I will definitely be ordering some more trees in the future. 0114
Due to courier unpredictability, we advise having your trees delivered AT LEAST 3 days before you actually need them.
Returning Cell Grown Trees
For Phytosanitary reasons, cell-grown trees cannot be returned to the nursery.
Delaying Planting Cell Grown Trees
If you cannot plant straight away, take the trees out of the packaging and stand upright next to each other in a sheltered location outside. November to March, no need to water unless they start to dry out and these would be ok for up to 6 weeks. During Spring and Summer, you can do this for up to 3 weeks.
Site Conditions And Evergreen Tree List
Our tree chart details which site conditions suit which trees and also which are evergreen or semi-evergreen.
Feeding Or Fertilizing Hedges
Any nitrogen based fertilizer will do such as 20:20:10 but the longer lasting ones which take 18/24 months are better as they are regulated by the weather and moisture therefore release slowly.
Second line of hedging or staggered row
We recommend planting the second line of trees 25cm or 10 inches away from the first if using the staggered hedging approach. Consider buying 10% more than you need and plant the spares elsewhere so you have immediate replacements for damaged or diseased trees.
For all hedging protection please view the Tree Extra section.
You would think that thorny plants would put rabbits off from eating them however this is not the case. They are happy to take the pain regardless of the cost (sounds like rabbits would be suited to marriage)
Hedge Growth Rates
For information on rates of growth please click "Hedge Growth Rates"
Using Bark or wood chip mulch for hedging trees
Mice like to use this as a nest/home/holiday retreat and they eat the bark (especially Beech). Periodically check for damage below the mulch or bark layer. Alternatively use gravel or plastic sheeting as a method of keeping weeds.
Adding Fragrance And Colour To Your Hedge.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) is a very popular addition to any garden due to the strong fragrance, splash of colours and interest it generates from other wildlife. Click the link to find out more.
Coastal PlantingFactors Detrimental To Cell Grown/Young Hedging Trees
Trees suitable for coastal hedging include Aspen, Hawthorn, Holly, Juniper, Rowan, Whitebeam and Willows.
Too much/little water, animal Urine, excessive wind exposure (will slow growth), salt spray, frost on new growth, herbicide drift and over application of fertilizer.
Hedge Tree Growing In The UK
We have instructed all our hedging trees that no non-UK holidays are allowed so that we can state they are all UK grown. Planting In The Corner Of A GardenAir and light is reduced in this location which could promote fungus and bacterial issues. If the corner is of the house and a fence then you also have leeching issues to contend with from cement and wood preservatives. Also when it rains, that area would experience higher water levels so we advise against it unless the plant is very hardy.
Multiple Order Discount
Orders over 1000 trees can be discounted by contacting us on 0800 043 1057