General gardening topics

How far apart to plant conifer hedging – The spacing guide

Last updated on March 5th, 2022

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Conifers can make a lovely addition to your home and what’s more, they can be used quite effectively as hedging. Given the different varieties available, you can choose to create something such as a shorter, smaller privacy screen that serves to divide different sections of your garden into individual components. You can also opt to grow them as a hedge along the perimeter which is particularly effective when it comes to creating privacy and blocking out heavy winds or noise from street traffic. Two great conifers for doing this are Leylandii and Thuja plicata with the latter being my favourite choice. In general, you should space conifers 60cm (2ft) apart, however, if you plan on growing a taller hedge, for example over 8-10ft, you can space them up to 100cm apart.

That said, when you plant your conifers you need to make sure that you space them apart properly and evenly and add plenty of organic matter to the soil when planting.

Why does spacing matter?

When you are first creating a hedge you will likely have younger plants that have yet to reach full maturity, at which point they will become much larger, both in height and spread. For smaller, younger plants you need to make sure that you space them apart enough so that when they are fully established they don’t grow into one another’s territory too much.

While you do want them to grow into one another well enough to create a full hedge with no gaps, if they are too close together it will block the airflow and lend itself to an increased risk for diseases, such as fungal infections and bacterial infections. If they are spaced too far apart your conifers may not form a solid hedge and may even struggle to close the gap at the base of the plants.

Spacing Conifer Hedging

Proper spacing is going to be somewhat contingent upon the plant type. Most conifers should be spaced between 60cm and 100cm apart. Hedges that have been planted 60cm apart will grow into the space in between much more quickly and you can achieve a very effective hedge, no matter the distance. If you are planting large, bushy varieties that grow up to 180cm or larger you want to plant on the higher end of that spacing, keeping them 100cm apart.

This is also the appropriate measurement if you want to create a very tall hedge rather than a shorter wider hedge. As a rough guide, if you want to establish a hedge to around 6ft or under, space them 60cm apart. If you want to grow a very tall hedge, space them anywhere between 60-100cm apart.

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