order@instanthedge.com

We are changing the way America Hedges

Request a Quote
Best-Selling Hedges See All
Boxwood & Boxwood Substitutes Compare
i
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.
i
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.
i
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.
i
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.
i
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.
i
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.
Deer
Resistant
Hedges
Hedges
for Shade
Fast Growing
Hedges
Close Menu
i
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.
i
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.
i
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.
i
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!
i
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.
i
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.
i
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.
Close Menu
ORDER NOW

BEECH HEDGE VS HORNBEAM HEDGE – WHICH CREATES A FAR SUPERIOR HEDGE

Beech Hedge vs Hornbeam Hedge - Which Creates a Far Superior Hedge

Landscape architects specifying hedges for properties most often select European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) or European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). The two varieties are similar in many ways, but in our experience, Beech nearly always creates a superior hedge.

Beech is available in an array of rich colors, while Hornbeam tends to display poorer color.

Beech is available in an array of rich colors, while Hornbeam tends to display poorer color.

One of the main benefits of planting a European Beech hedge is the fact that it holds its beautiful, bronze-colored leaves from the beginning of dormancy to just a few weeks before spring foliage emerges. European Hornbeam holds its leaves for a month or so, and only holds juvenile leaves, so it can be tricky or impossible to achieve the same desirable retention as beech. It also has inferior leaf color, being more brown and crinkly than the beech which resembles smooth, rich leather.

Beech is available in an array of rich colors, while Hornbeam tends to display poorer color.

Beech holds its copper-colored leaves through the winter. Hornbeam’s winter leaves are brown and usually don’t last as long.

Foliage color and appearance between the two is quite similar, but the beech tends to have a nicer fall display of yellow and orange than the hornbeam, which tends to be yellow-brown or weak chartreuse. There are purple and copper variants of the beech as well, which are striking alone or mixed

beech

Beech has spectacular fall color, but Hornbeam’s fall foliage can take on a brown/green tint.

Both beech and hornbeam have a nice gray-colored bark that adds winter interest. Beech branches are smooth and graceful, while hornbeam is crooked and knotty, with lots of twigs. There are quite old plantings of beech and hornbeam, but beech plants can easily live past 200 years, while hornbeam typically doesn’t live past 150. Having a beech hedge on a property adds incredible value and is a substantial asset.

Beech is a long-lived plant used extensively in Europe on estates and other properties.

Poor soils are generally not a problem for either plant, but beech does not do well in overly wet conditions. Drought is not problematic once either plant is established. Neither type does well in maritime exposures with salt in the air or the soil, but urban pollution is well-tolerated. The main difference in tolerance is that hornbeam is notoriously difficult to transplant, especially older plants.

Pests and diseases are not serious issues for beech or hornbeam, and if problems occur they can usually be resolved without losing the plant.

Beech grows at a great pace for hedging, neither too fast nor too slow. It can be easily maintained with a light pruning once per year. Hornbeam grows faster, and should be pruned twice per year, especially if leaf retention is desired.

Beech only needs to be pruned once per year. Hornbeam can require 2 prunings to keep under control.

Fagus sylvatica (European Beech) Carpinus betulus (European Hornbeam)
Foliage Glossy, Bold Green in summer, Yellow/Orange in Fall, Bronze in Winter Fresh Green in spring, Green in summer, Yellow in fall, Brown until drop
Leaf Retention Through early winter, reliably superior retention to hornbeam Through fall, only holds juvenile foliage
Bark and Shape Gray, smooth, graceful Gray, knobby, crooked
Longevity 200+ years Up to 150 years
Soil and Stress Tolerances Poor soils tolerated as long as there isn’t standing water; tolerant of mild environmental stress, not salt tolerant Heavy soils tolerated, not salt tolerant
Exposure Full Sun to Full Shade Full Sun to Full Shade
Pruning 1 per year 2 per year
Pests No major issues No major issues
Hardiness USDA Zones 4-8 USDA Zones 4-8

While there is, and likely always will be, debate surrounding which plant is better, the answer seems clear to us. In all respects, except for possibly use in a wet, heavy soil, European Beech pulls ahead of European Hornbeam. It has more attractive foliage, better winter leaf retention, nicer bark and form, better longevity, and requires less maintenance, making it the obvious choice.

By brent | February 13th, 2019 | Plant Spotlights

Share This Post With Others!