Monthly Archives: December 2013

Dead Hedge

Homemade Dead Hedge

Homemade Dead Hedge

Today was fun. I’ve started building a dead hedge.


  1. I needed a storage for dead wood, branches and twigs that fall out of the trees or are cut away by pruning.
  2. I needed a ‘fence’.
  3. I needed a cheap solution for 1 and 2.
What did it take?
  1. Some BBC inspiration
  2. 1 large Hazel tree
  3. Neclected corner of the garden with dead wood
  4. 1 Saw
  5. 1 Soil-drill
  6. 4 hours
  7. 2 men
How did it work?

First I got inspired by the recent BBC Series: Tudor Monastery Farm. The first episode finds the farm team, Tom, Peter en Ruth arriving at Weald & Downland in West Sussex. Peter shows how to build a dead hedge from fresh cut hazel poles and  dead wood. Dead hedges are useful in habitat conservation and restoration ecology, as they offer shelter for small animals, especially birds and hedgehogs. It’s super organic gardening.

Then I thought… “I have got hazel bushes in my garden and lots of dead wood. It’s great weather and I’m with my friend Bart who enjoys a day of physical labour. Let’s just do it. It doesn’t hurt to try.” 6 hours later the dead hedge was a fact.

It’s rather a simple, almost mediaval way of making a fence. You cut minimal 5 cm thick straight uprising branches of a Hazel. Saw them into poles of 1,5 meter. Remove all smaller twigs and save them for the hedge filling. Drill 50 cm deep holes in the ground and place the poles somethng like 50 to 70 cm apart. Put the poles in the ground and start filling the space in between the poles with branches and twigs. The poles must be something like 1,5 meter from each  other.

dead hedge instructions

dead hedging

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