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Boxwood & Boxwood Substitutes Compare
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Green Mountain
Green Mountain Boxwood (Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’) is an extremely popular boxwood. It has great cold tolerance and is one of the most naturally resistant to Boxwood Blight. It is deer and rabbit resistant and grows well in full sun to shade. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
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Schmidt
Schmidt Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Schmidt’) is a lesser-known boxwood variety but has a desirable tall and narrow growth habit making it great for hedging. It is deer resistant and grows in full sun to partial shade. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.
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Box Honeysuckle
Box Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida) is lovely hedge in its own right but also makes a great boxwood substitute for areas with Boxwood Blight. The foliage is evergreen and very similar to boxwood. It is deer resistant, takes full sun to full shade, and grows in USDA Zones 6-9.
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Hick's Yew
Hicks Yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’) is the best hedge for deep shade locations, although it also thrives in full sun. This is a naturally narrow plant, so it is good for small spaces. It has evergreen needles and bright red fruits. Hicks Yew is hardy to USDA Zones 5-8.
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Little Simon
Little Simon Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Simon’) is a dwarf selection of Emerald Green that only reaches 3-4’ tall. It is a great boxwood substitute for colder regions and blight-susceptible areas. It grows best in full sun and is hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.
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Teton Firethorn
Teton Firethorn (Pyracantha ‘Teton’) is an evergreen hedge that boasts billows of white flowers in spring, followed by bright orange fruits that feed birds through winter. Sharp thorns keep deer away. It grows well in full sun to shade and is hardy in USDA Zones 6-9.
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Sizes
Our hedges come in multiple, convenient sizes. Learn about which hedge size option will work best for your project, from our 18-24” tall MiniHedge to our 5-6’ tall InstantHedge. See detailed dimensions for all of our different hedge sizes, including root balls.
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Containers
You have multiple options for the kind of container in which your InstantHedge is shipped. Learn about our standard Biodegradable Cardboard Boxes, as well as the fabric bag and cedar box options. This page will lead you to the best choice for your project.
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Installation
InstantHedge is a unique product and the planting process is very unlike installing a traditional hedge. This page takes you step by step through the easy process of how to plant an InstantHedge. No doubt about it, it’s the fastest way to plant a hedge.
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About Us
Learn about our company’s past and present, and all about how we introduced this revolutionary product to the US market. You can also get a peek at our farm and meet our team of hedge experts who make all the hedge magic happen!
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Distributors
Find out where you can purchase our hedges in your area, whether you are a retail or wholesale buyer. We have exclusive wholesale distributors in some states, and this is where you can connect with them.
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Projects
See real-life examples of our hedges being used in projects all over the country. These photos are provided by our customers and can be used as inspiration for a wide range of uses, from commercial to residential. You can find customer reviews here as well.
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FAQ
Got questions? Of course you do! And chances are, many others have had the same questions. We know that with an unusual product like our hedges there are always many questions. We answer some common questions here on this FAQ page, so it’s a great place to start.
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EUROPEAN BEECH HEDGE

Fagus sylvatica

European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge is well-known as a towering deciduous naturally large tree, but it also can be shaped into a stunning hedge. The European Beech tree’s leaves change color with the passing seasons, which makes it an attractive hedge in many outdoor spaces. It is a classic, beloved hedge choice and has the added benefit of holding its copper-colored fall leaves on the branches all the way through winter for year-round screening.

EUROPEAN BEECH QUICK GUIDE

Fagus Sylvatica growing region
  • European Beech Hedge is a naturally low-branching tree, so it works especially well for hedging.
  • Beech Fagus sylvatica has lovely bark that is smooth and silver-gray.
  • European Beech's foliage turns bronze in fall and clings to the branches through winter, providing year-round screening and privacy.

FAGUS SYLVATICA HEDGE DETAILS

There are a number of immediate benefits to choosing Beech Fagus:

  • Makes a uniquely attractive hedge with heavy pruning
  • Tolerates a wide range of soils
  • Low-branched habit makes it suitable for hedging
  • Grows well in colder regions
  • Lush, green leaves in summer with great fall color and winter screening

Fagus sylvatica has an attractive upright-oval to rounded-spreading crown when left alone and can be pruned to any desired hedge style.

Native to the woodlands of central and southern Europe, the European Beech hedge was brought to America by colonists in the mid-1700s and has remained a popular ornamental tree ever since.

USDA Hardiness Zones:5 - 8
Your Hardiness Zone:
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Sun/Shade:Full Sun to Partial Shade
Deer Resistance:Moderate
Watering Requirements:Weekly, or more often in extreme heat
Growth Rate:Moderate, to 2’ per year
Mature Size:Up to 12’ height and 4’ width
Drought Tolerance:Excellent
West Coast - Sunset Heat Zones:2 - 9 and 14 - 21; A3
Pest/Disease Issues:
No serious problems. Weevils, mealybugs and scale are problems in some areas, as are twig blight and needle blight.

Landscape Gallery

  • Vorgarten, Carpinus betulus

    Using a beech hedge and arch creates an irresistable entry to the back yard of this cottage.

  • Hecke aus Blutbuche, Fagus sylvatica Purpurea

    Purple or copper beech creates striking color contrast with flowers and lawn.

  • 716747371-fagus-beech-hedge-privacy-suburban-urban-commercial-driveway-screen-street-curb

    European beech (Fagus sylvatica) creates an effective screen and sound barrier along a busy road.

  • 19720-Buxus-boxwood-Fagus-beech-country-garden-hedge-barrier-knot-cottage-iron-planter-flowers

    Walkways are evenly bordered with boxwood (Buxus) hedges while the entire country garden is framed with European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

  • 24043-Fagus-beech-Taxus-yew-country-cottage-garden-hedge-privacy-bench-peaceful-hydrangea

    Both a taller European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and a shorter yew (Taxus) hedge help to border this outdoor room.

  • 37283-Fagus-Beech-hedge-country-estate-rural-view-grass-field-farm-house-garden

    European beech (Fagus sylvatica) creates a boundary between this cottage garden and an open field.

  • 43917-Fagus-beech-urban-back-yard-patio-space-tall-privacy-hedge-noise-block

    A serene backdrop is created by using European beech (Fagus sylvatica) for privacy on this city lot.

  • 01452387-Fagus-beech-modern-courtyard-commercial-office-urban-outdoor-seating-patio

    Multiple types of hedges can be used in a hotel courtyard like this to integrate several layers of textures and colors.

  • Wall water feature with running water into a pool

    Stone features like this fountain are made more inviting with the use of a leafy hedge like this European beech (Fagus).

  • 00000005-fagus-beech-resort-retreat-commercial-restaurant-landscape-garden-hedge-outdoor-eating-seating

    Even soon after planting, InstantHedges provide elegance and sophistication to a commercial landscape.

  • 54131014-fagus-beech-privacy-hedge-suburban-country-garden-park-border-flowers

    A European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge can make this residential yard much more private and inviting.

  • 78352597-Fagus-beech-privacy-hedge-lining-driveway-estate-country-landscape-garden

    What a stately, impressive entryway is created with these tall European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges lining the driveway.

Residential

Winter

Fagus Sylvatica

Commercial

Interested in purchasing?

For retail customers, find pricing and purchase online here.

For green industry professionals, please fill out our quote request form.


WHY PLANT FAGUS SYLVATICA HEDGE?

European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a classic hedge choice that has been used to create beautiful hedges for thousands of years. Between its lush green foliage, lovely fall color, graceful form, leaf retention through winter, and incredible longevity, it has proven itself over time to be one of the best possible hedging choices available. Fagus sylvatica can be grown into a very large hedge over time, but it can also be kept small and very manageable with regular pruning. It has a low branching habit which makes it perfectly suited for hedging. It is an easy-to-grow hedge that tolerates a wide range of soils and other factors, and it is very cold-hardy.

FEATURES OF EUROPEAN BEECH HEDGE

Foliage

European Beech is one of the few popular hedges that can boast a stunning seasonal color change. First, in spring, leaves are fresh, bright green. For summer, they are deep green, smooth, and shiny. In fall, they turn various shades of copper, rust, and gold. Through winter, Fagus Sylvatica is deep rust. Buds are long, pointed, and smooth.

Fagus Sylvatica Summer Foliage. European Beech hedge looks stunning in summer with green foliage
Summer foliage on Fagus sylvatica
European Beech Tree in Fall: Fagus Sylvatica Copper Beech color during fall
Fall foliage on Fagus sylvatica
Branches

European Beech branches are smooth, graceful, and lovely. With nothing knobby or angular, a beech hedge always looks elegant. Even if branches are bare (perhaps from an early spring windstorm right before spring flush), they are smooth, silvery, and beautiful. It could be argued that there is not a day in the whole year when this hedge does not look lovely.

Leaf Retention

One huge benefit of choosing a beech hedge is that, even though it is deciduous, it provides year-round privacy. After the European Beech leaves turn their lovely copper hues in autumn, they fade to the color of rich leather and cling to the branches until just before they flush for spring. Fagus sylvatica defies the rule that you must plant an evergreen hedge for year-round privacy.

Fagus sylvatica tree in winters: European Beech looks beautiful in winters
Thuja Green Giant maintains its bright green color even in winter.
Longevity

There is perhaps no better example of this than the Meikleour Beech Hedge in Scotland. It was planted in 1745 and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest hedge in the world. It was planted as a memorial for fallen soldiers and today is a popular tourist attraction. This Fagus sylvatica hedge is still stunning despite its almost 300 years of age, although at 100 feet tall maintenance has become quite difficult! Although most of us don’t plan to maintain a hedge for more than a few decades, it is interesting to note that this tree can thrive in the same footprint for a very, very long time.

GROWING

Planting

European Beech is a forgiving and easy-to-grow hedge. We prefer to ship beech in fall, winter, or spring, but we can ship in summer if needed. The hedges will do just fine the next year if planted in summer, but there may be some premature browning of the leaves in the first summer of planting. For the best success, we do recommend planting while they are still dormant or just leaving/entering dormancy.

Exposure

European beech can be grown in full sun to full shade, making it wonderfully versatile for all kinds of locations. This is especially useful if you are planting a very long hedge that passes through areas with full sun and full shade, as you can use the same type of hedge throughout.

fagus hedge (Fagus Sylvatica): Stunning European Beech turns copper brown in winters
The best time to ship and plant European Beech is in fall, winter, or early spring while still dormant. This puts the least amount of stress on the plants.
A generous application of mulch will help protect shallow roots in high-traffic areas

Soil

Fagus sylvatica is tolerant of a wide range of soils, even poor soils. Most roots grow in the upper two feet of the soil, so a generous application of mulch around the base of the hedge will help protect the roots, especially if you are planting in an area with high foot or vehicle traffic. The deepest roots typically reach a maximum of 7 feet. Beech is fairly drought-tolerant but will thrive better if provided moderate water in summer.

Pruning

It is generally recommended to prune Beech hedges twice per year: the first taking place in early summer after the first flush of growth, and the second in late summer around August to encourage another flush of growth before dormancy. This second flush of leaves will be the most likely to stay on the branches through the winter to provide screening. Save any removal of large branches for when they are dormant in winter. It is best to prune Beech hedges with handheld pruners that are very sharp, rather than electric hedge trimmers.

European beech hedge (Fagus Sylvatica) Pruning
Large branches on beech hedges should be removed in winter during dormancy, but regular pruning should be done in early and late summer.

Pollution

Although beech does not thrive in salty coastal climates, it is tolerant of urban pollution and is a great city tree.

Fagus Sylvatica is an excellent choice for urban plantings as it is tolerant of urban pollution
A Beech hedge is an excellent choice for urban plantings as it is tolerant of urban pollution.
Pests

There are no major pests for beech, and any issues can usually be cleared up without any permanent damage to the plants. Beech are mostly deer-resistant as well.

European beech has wonderful resistance to most pests and diseases, and is quite deer resistant as well (in winter when deer are hungry the beech don’t have anything for them to eat, and in summer the deer have other choices that they prefer).

The one pest unique to beech that you might notice is the Woolly Beech Aphid. It only affects beech plants and can be somewhat alarming to discover. The good news is that the aphid won’t cause any permanent damage to the plants and is easy to treat. Typically, people don’t even bother to treat it because it is barely noticeable. The worst thing about it is the aphids produce a sticky “honeydew” on the leaves which may attract ants, and in severe infestations it can provide a place for a sooty black mold to grow. However, that is only in extreme cases which are rare.

Treatment can be as simple as blasting the affected leaves with a strong jet of water, or you can use an insecticidal soap or oil which has very low toxicity. Since these aphids only affect beech, you don’t need to worry about them spreading to other types of plants. Beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps can also help control populations of the woolly beech aphid and other insect pests.

To learn more, visit https://www.rhs.org.uk and http://oregonstate.edu

Hardiness

Hardy to USDA Zone 4 or 5, Fagus sylvatica is a great option for colder areas.

Fagus sylvatica

WHY CHOOSE INSTANTHEDGE FOR EUROPEAN BEECH HEDGE?

Beech hedges are often purchased as bare-root trees or small whips. This will give you small plants for a low starting price. However, Fagus sylvatica does not grow at a very fast rate, so you will have to wait 4-5 years to achieve a full, finished hedge. You will also run into problems with losing plants from disease and damage because of the stress caused by bare-rooting plants and planting too small.

Europeans developed a brilliant system that would allow people to buy an “instant hedge,” and we are proud to be the first and only nursery to bring the technology to the USA. When you purchase a European Beech InstantHedge, you are guaranteed a vigorous, healthy, finished hedge from day one. The hedges will arrive pre-spaced and pre-shaped with a vibrant root system that is ready to grow and establish. Why not start with the European Beech hedge that has already been finished by hedge experts?

Fagus Sylvatica: European beech Hedge available for sale at best prices