If you're looking for something to truly make your formal garden stand out from the crowd, you may find just what you're looking for in the centuries-old art of pleaching trees. What does it mean to pleach a tree, and how can you do it successfully in your own backyard? Here's the lowdown on this classic, yet stunning, landscape element.
What is Pleaching? Simply put, pleaching a tree or shrub means training its branches to adhere to a form -- usually flat and nearly two-dimensional -- that you choose, rather than allowing it to grow freely. Pleaching is a long process that involves a lot of attention to detail when training the branches and a good deal of patience on the part of the gardener. But, the effect of a row of carefully-clipped trees forming the design you want can transform any garden, from modern to traditional.
What Trees Can Be Pleached? Any tree with a flexible nature can be pleached. You'll need to start with very young, malleable trees. Look for ones with a number of branches jutting out from the base at a straight angle, parallel to the ground. There are a number of species that make good candidates for pleaching, including beech, lime, and hornbeam. You can also pleach many evergreen species, allowing you to form both short and tall lines of trees for full privacy in your landscape.
How do You Pleach? Plant your trees up against a pre-prepared framework. Traditional pleaching usually calls for a very straight line of trees with very straight frameworks along their length, but you can have fun with what shape or design you want to take, such as a line against the house, a tunnel over a walkway, or a hardscape border. Tie the branches to the frame firmly and clip off any branches that don't want to adhere to the frame design. Check the growth regularly and keep it well-trimmed as it grows. Don't force branches to bend, though. It's generally better to remove unruly ones and wait for fresh growth that can be trained instead.
Pleaching trees is a way for an advanced gardener to take their skill to a new level and add something unique to any yard. But, it requires patience and diligence. If you have plenty of both, you just may find that your pleached trees become the new focal point of your garden . . . wowing your guests and yourself alike. If you'd like help with maintaining your formal garden, contact a landscape services company in your area.Share
10 May 2017
When my husband and I bought our house years ago, we thought it would be our "starter" home and we would move in a few years. We soon had two children, and we then decided against moving since we live in a great school district and we love our neighbors. However, I was growing very tired of the appearance of our home. We painted it a different color, and it still seemed like the "same old house" that we were tired of. We finally deciding that maybe good landscaping would "do the trick" and make our home more enjoyable to use again. We were right, and I now love our home! I now love spending time in our yard and just enjoying the scenery. I have such a passion for landscaping now I decided to create a blog about it. I plan to share many landscaping tips, so come back!