Pleached Trees for Screening are not quite the same as full standard clear stem trees. All clear stem trees, whether pleached or full standard, can be used as an alternative hedging or screening option. Clear stem or clear trunked trees have been trained so that the foliage appears at the top of a clear straight trunk, giving a hedge effect on top of the tree rather than at ground level – almost like a hedge on stilts.
Pleached trees however go a step further. They are more structured and architectural. The art of pleaching is essentially growing clear stemmed trees in a row with the foliage trained to grow almost like an inverted elevated hedge. Foliage levels generally starting at a height of around 2 metres. The tree branches are woven together around a horizontal frame creating a sophisticated flat symmetrical shape above the clear trunk. Pruning is not as difficult as it may look – the foliage needs clipping once or twice per year simply to keep the shape.
Originating from the grand European gardens of the 17th century, pleached trees are the ultimate elevated hedging. As well as lending elegant, geometric accents, pleached trees for screening are incredibly pragmatic as hedging above wall or fence level or defining or separating an outdoor room without blocking out light or the view beneath the foliage level.
Our pleached trees for screening include both evergreens and deciduous trees. The Holm Oak or Quercus Ilex pleached trees are among the most popular of the evergreen pleached trees. These are mature full standard specimens standing almost 3 metres tall with a trunk height (or clear stem) of 1.9 metres.
Ever popular Pleached Hornbeam trees
Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus), a British native, is one of the most popular deciduous trees for pleaching, thanks not least to the vibrant green of the new foliage and the fact that it does not shed its old leaves until spring. We have a vast range of sizes of pleached hornbeams from between 2.4 and 5 metres tall – so we’re sure to have a size that suits your location.
Photinia Red Robin is also a popular choice as a pleached tree. Our specimens are 3.2 metres tall with a trunk height of 2.1 metres. Evergreen Pleached Photinia Red Robin trees look quite stunning as the new foliage emerges red, changing slowly to green as the summer advances.
For something more unusual, we have Ilex X Koehneana, more commonly known as Chestnut Leaf Holly. An evergreen female Holly with beautifully glossy, sweet chestnut type leaves and a plethora of gorgeous red berries in the Autumn. Chestnut Leaf Holly is an excellent candidate for pleaching.
Also rare and more unusual are our pleached Magnolia Grandiflora trees. Magnolia Grandiflora is an evergreen magnolia that flowers in the summer time. These trees are 3 metres tall with a trunk height of circa 2 metres.
How To Plant Pleached Trees
Remember when planting Pleached trees make sure that adequate staking or framework is factored in and also recommended that each frame is tied together to maintain a good line and one that is not likely to move in winter storms. Stakes can normally be removed in around 3-5 years. Our Tree Stakes and Ties pack is perfectly designed for planting pleached trees – one pack for one tree – it couldn’t be easier!