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Building or repairing a fence within a hedge



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 28th 06, 07:38 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 178
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

Situation:

Beech hedge some 12' high and about 6' deep has the remains of a 3'
closeboarded fence about a foot away from its centre line, i.e. the
fence was built along my boundary and the beech hedge planted close to
the fence on my side of the boundary. Fence has now come to the end of
its life and I wish to replace it - the collapsing fence is revealing
the bald base of the hedge and allowing easy access for animals,
particularly dogs. The hedge has also suffered from poor maintenance
and has grown out quite a bit - hence its depth.

I do not wish to cause tremendous damage to the hedge or do any radical
pruning. Can I use metal post anchors such as Metpost to fix 6' fence
posts along the line of the previous fence at maybe 4' intervals,
perhaps with a top rail between each post to prevent swaying and a stay
through the hedge at say 45 deg down from each post to stake under the
hedge on my side of the boundary. Then build the fence up with
horizontal boards as far as I can and wherever I can.

Is this a crazy solution? Can anyone suggest anything better?

BTW the far side of the hedge faces open woodland - not another garden.

TIA

Richard
Ads
  #2  
Old December 28th 06, 10:07 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 8,323
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

Richard wrote:
Situation:

Beech hedge some 12' high and about 6' deep has the remains of a 3'
closeboarded fence about a foot away from its centre line, i.e. the
fence was built along my boundary and the beech hedge planted close to
the fence on my side of the boundary. Fence has now come to the end
of its life and I wish to replace it - the collapsing fence is
revealing the bald base of the hedge and allowing easy access for
animals, particularly dogs. The hedge has also suffered from poor
maintenance and has grown out quite a bit - hence its depth.


I do not wish to cause tremendous damage to the hedge or do any
radical pruning. Can I use metal post anchors such as Metpost to fix
6' fence posts along the line of the previous fence at maybe 4'
intervals,


Why 4'? Standard spacing for 6' fence posts & panels is 6' - more with
feather edge & arris rail. Bear in mind that you are bound to encounter
tree roots so the fewer posts the better. Metposts are probably the best
fixing in this case, but bear in mind they can twist & go in off level if
they hit a root.

With a 3' fence you could probably go for 10' between posts using 2 arris
rails & galv brackets.


--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
01634 717930
07850 597257


  #3  
Old December 28th 06, 11:30 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 178
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

The Medway Handyman wrote:


Why 4'?


Because I cannot fit standard panels (both in terms of width and height)
- because I am not going to cut the hedge back to allow a clear run of
fencing. I will be inserting the fence posts _within_ the existing
hedge that has grown out and over the remains of the original fence.

Standard spacing for 6' fence posts & panels is 6' - more with
feather edge & arris rail. Bear in mind that you are bound to encounter
tree roots so the fewer posts the better. Metposts are probably the best
fixing in this case, but bear in mind they can twist & go in off level if
they hit a root.

With a 3' fence you could probably go for 10' between posts using 2 arris
rails & galv brackets.




I'm only going to be able to panel sporadically, hence my query
regarding the use of horizontal boards. I may not have said that I
expect to fix the boards to the posts, i.e. not using arris rails.

I can't do an ASCII drawing but . . .

Now (top view)
-------------------------hedge edge ----------------------------------


-- ---- - - - - - - - - old fence -- --- -- -- --- -- -- --- --

-------------------------hedge centre line -----------------------------


-------------------------hedge edge ----------------------------------


Idea: (again from above and omiting braces through the hedge)


-------------------------hedge edge ----------------------------------

__________ _________ __________ ___________ __________ ________ _______
x x x x x x x

-------------------------hedge centre line -----------------------------


-------------------------hedge edge ----------------------------------



x = line of posts

_ = horizontal planking fixed to post
  #4  
Old December 29th 06, 12:58 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 200
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge


"Richard" wrote in message
...
Situation:

Beech hedge some 12' high and about 6' deep has the remains of a 3'
closeboarded fence about a foot away from its centre line, i.e. the fence
was built along my boundary and the beech hedge planted close to the fence
on my side of the boundary. Fence has now come to the end of its life and
I wish to replace it - the collapsing fence is revealing the bald base of
the hedge and allowing easy access for animals, particularly dogs. The
hedge has also suffered from poor maintenance and has grown out quite a
bit - hence its depth.

I do not wish to cause tremendous damage to the hedge or do any radical
pruning. Can I use metal post anchors such as Metpost to fix 6' fence
posts along the line of the previous fence at maybe 4' intervals, perhaps
with a top rail between each post to prevent swaying and a stay through
the hedge at say 45 deg down from each post to stake under the hedge on my
side of the boundary. Then build the fence up with horizontal boards as
far as I can and wherever I can.

Is this a crazy solution? Can anyone suggest anything better?

BTW the far side of the hedge faces open woodland - not another garden.


If it's in the middle of the hedge and the main reason for it is to keep
dogs in/out why use panels? Why not use wire, pig mesh maybe, and let the
hedge grow back through it? You say you don't want to prune but beech really
thickens up after a good hacking.

H


  #5  
Old December 29th 06, 09:28 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 251
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

In message , Richard
writes
Situation:

Beech hedge some 12' high and about 6' deep has the remains of a 3'
closeboarded fence about a foot away from its centre line, i.e. the
fence was built along my boundary and the beech hedge planted close to
the fence on my side of the boundary. Fence has now come to the end of
its life and I wish to replace it - the collapsing fence is revealing
the bald base of the hedge and allowing easy access for animals,
particularly dogs. The hedge has also suffered from poor maintenance
and has grown out quite a bit - hence its depth.

I do not wish to cause tremendous damage to the hedge or do any radical
pruning. Can I use metal post anchors such as Metpost to fix 6' fence
posts along the line of the previous fence at maybe 4' intervals,
perhaps with a top rail between each post to prevent swaying and a stay
through the hedge at say 45 deg down from each post to stake under the
hedge on my side of the boundary. Then build the fence up with
horizontal boards as far as I can and wherever I can.

Is this a crazy solution?


Yes. Although, as a farmer with domestic neighbours, I have to admire
your honesty:-)

Can anyone suggest anything better?


Why are you determined not to prune? Is there an access/disposal issue?
Beech is boys stuff compared with Blackthorn.

BTW the far side of the hedge faces open woodland - not another garden.


Rabbits? You mention dogs so possibly public open space? Privacy issues?

Cost has not been mentioned but the cheapest dog proof barrier is
agricultural stock fence or, if Rabbits are a problem, 48" 18 gauge
netting. Burying the bottom 6" will be difficult with your roots.

Benefits. Cheap, good life (20 years) hedge can fill out because light
is not obstructed. Post spacing is not critical. No maintenance
required.

Downside. Strainer posts required at corners/50m. Loss of privacy,
temporary. Using a sledge hammer below branches is not practical so you
need Metposts or a tubular post rammer.

ISTR there is some advice on rural fencing on the Forestry Commission
website.

regards

--
Tim Lamb
  #6  
Old December 29th 06, 12:48 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 178
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

Tim Lamb wrote:

Yes. Although, as a farmer with domestic neighbours, I have to admire
your honesty:-)

Why are you determined not to prune? Is there an access/disposal issue?
Beech is boys stuff compared with Blackthorn.



Thanks to all.

Yes there are privacy issues - the woodland is public access - AKA used
for dog emptying and while I don't mind the ocasional fox and smaller
visitors I object strongly to dogs coming into my garden to frighten the
cats and to crap!

I did not want to complicate my OP by discussing pruning. You may have
guessed that the hedge has grown out as a result of neglect and is now
rather open and woody rather than bushy. I have been advised that it
will recover, i.e. become denser and with more fine branches if I cut
one side back beyond the growth point by, say 6", and feed the base of
the hedge with e.g. Growmore. I'm to do this before the new growth
starts, but when than is with the current crazy seasons is anyone's
guess. I can then do the same to the unpruned side on the following
year. I suspect that I will then leave both sides for another year
before hard pruning the first side again.

I have similarly hard pruned another Beech hedge which seems to have
coped, despite erecting a 5' fence against the pruned face - that one
adjoins a neighbour who wanted a 6' CB fence. We compromised with 5' CB
+ 1' trellis.

So, although I ultimately need only a dog proof barrier, for a number of
years I will need a dog and sight proof barrier.


Disposal and access are no problem and having done hedgelaying with the
odd Blackthorn present for purely entertainment value I give thanks for
it's absence here!


TIA


Richard
  #7  
Old December 29th 06, 05:19 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 251
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

In message , Richard
writes
Tim Lamb wrote:


Why are you determined not to prune? Is there an access/disposal
issue? Beech is boys stuff compared with Blackthorn.



Thanks to all.

Yes there are privacy issues - the woodland is public access - AKA used
for dog emptying and while I don't mind the ocasional fox and smaller
visitors I object strongly to dogs coming into my garden to frighten
the cats and to crap!


OK. Fox crap has a pointy end.

I did not want to complicate my OP by discussing pruning. You may have
guessed that the hedge has grown out as a result of neglect and is now
rather open and woody rather than bushy. I have been advised that it
will recover, i.e. become denser and with more fine branches if I cut
one side back beyond the growth point by, say 6", and feed the base of
the hedge with e.g. Growmore. I'm to do this before the new growth
starts, but when than is with the current crazy seasons is anyone's
guess. I can then do the same to the unpruned side on the following
year. I suspect that I will then leave both sides for another year
before hard pruning the first side again.

I have similarly hard pruned another Beech hedge which seems to have
coped, despite erecting a 5' fence against the pruned face - that one
adjoins a neighbour who wanted a 6' CB fence. We compromised with 5'
CB + 1' trellis.


Could you not prune to just above the height of any replacement fence
with a bit spare for working room. Any serious trimming needs to be done
over the next few weeks.

Post holes are likely to be tricky: roots and hard dry soil. Fencing
contractors use a motorised auger which might be available from the hire
shops. I use a tractor mounted borer and clean out with a *shoveholer*
sort of double shovel.

regards

--
Tim Lamb
  #8  
Old January 3rd 07, 08:56 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 178
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

Tim Lamb wrote:


Could you not prune to just above the height of any replacement fence
with a bit spare for working room.


That was/is my idea. Installing tall posts was a way of future proofing.
Any serious trimming needs to be done
over the next few weeks.

Just how hard can I prune the hedge. the side to be trimmed is south
facing.

Post holes are likely to be tricky: roots and hard dry soil. Fencing
contractors use a motorised auger which might be available from the hire
shops. I use a tractor mounted borer and clean out with a *shoveholer*
sort of double shovel.

regards


Sorry for tardy reply - New Year away intervened.

Richard

  #9  
Old January 4th 07, 08:48 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 251
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

In message , Richard
writes
Tim Lamb wrote:

Could you not prune to just above the height of any replacement
fence with a bit spare for working room.


That was/is my idea. Installing tall posts was a way of future proofing.
Any serious trimming needs to be done
over the next few weeks.

Just how hard can I prune the hedge. the side to be trimmed is south
facing.


I don't see any problem with trimming all the obstructing branches in
the work area back to 200mm or so. There will still be plenty of
untrimmed growth to keep the bushes growing.


Sorry for tardy reply - New Year away intervened.


You haven't missed much:-)

regards
--
Tim Lamb
  #10  
Old January 5th 07, 08:41 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 178
Default Building or repairing a fence within a hedge

Tim Lamb wrote:


Just how hard can I prune the hedge. the side to be trimmed is south
facing.



I don't see any problem with trimming all the obstructing branches in
the work area back to 200mm or so. There will still be plenty of
untrimmed growth to keep the bushes growing.



Thanks Tim

Slash and burn will commence at the end of next week!

Rgds


Richard
 




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