Pleached Trees – Planting & Care

Pleached trees are an elegant and simple way of creating a formal looking hedge above the fence line without taking up too much space.
Pleached trees are trees which have been specially trained across a framework.  They create an effective and attractive contemporary screen as they are slimmer than normal free forming trees and so work well in gardens where a neat hedge above the fence-line is necessary.
Maintenance is minimal, just regular watering and pruning them a couple of times a year.
Paramount Plants are a leading UK plant centre specialising in the supply of Pleached and Full Standard Screening Trees and many other ideas for Trees and Shrubs to create screening.

Questions often asked about Pleached Trees
How long do I need to keep the bamboo framework in place?
The framework will need to be kept on indefinitely until the trained branches of the tree have formed sufficiently to support themselves.  Once the tree has been planted in the ground it will take a couple of years to become fully established and bushy  – at this stage usually the frames will no longer be noticeable.  If you are happy over the years that the screen has formed into a dense hedge and can support itself you can remove the canes or keep them on – its really up to you to decide on this.
The more mature the tree is when purchased the bushier and more dense coverage across the frames.  We specialise in any maturity of pleached tree but costs will increase significantly the more mature the tree.  We therefore offer cost effective solutions for pleached trees, which are not always immediately dense/bushy across the frames when planted, but the bushiness will increase significantly over the first year or so of planting in the ground.

Pleached Trees for above fence screening
Pleached Trees for above fence screening, Holland Park

What is a pleached tree? 
It is a tree which has had the branches trained flat along a frame which is desirable for areas where space is a key factor.  These trees will be fairly slim line but create a screen above the fence line.
How many pleached trees do I need?
When using pleached trees consider what the purpose of the trees are. If you are using them for screening then you will really want to be planting them at the centres that the frame widths allow. So if the width of the frame is 150cm for example then you would plant 1 tree every 150cm and so on.  These are trees that look best immediately next to each other so abutting. Usually the frames of each tree are tied into the next to create a consistent look along and above the fenceline.
Do Pleached Trees need staking?
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. 
How do I plant Pleached Trees?
If planting new trees always make sure that an adequate width is dug out and this should be at least a third wider than the rootball you have in front of you.  Be careful with the depth though as too deep is not good. This is especially important if the soil you garden on is heavy and mainly clay based. If you go too deep then you are risking the water table rising too far in the winter and your newly planted tree sitting in the water and this causes the roots to rot due to a lack of oxygen. 
How do I prune these trees?
Maintaining the frame is a question of what stage your frame is at. If you are buying a very mature pleached tree that has been trained for years then you will need to keep clipped using sharp shears and this is ok to do once a year even twice a year if you prefer.
 If the frame is not so mature then tie and encourage new shoots into empty areas and  clip away any shoots where they cannot be used to cover the frame more. Once a good coverage is obtained then trimming the frame with a pair of shears will suffice. 
What happens when the shrubby part of the Pleached tree outgrows the frame? 
If you want to keep the Tree at the same height forever more than just prune the shrubby part of the tree to the shape of the frame once / maybe twice year to keep the pleached tree forever at that  size.
Otherwise if you want to increase the size of the frame allow the plant to outgrow the frame and build your own extensions to the frame upwards (and outwards if required) using bamboo canes.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at