Four of us ventured out to Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth to continue laying a stretch of hedge leading up to the farm near Horsley. It was a dry and cool day, just right for the task in question. We managed to almost complete the stretch of hedge that has been worked on by ourselves and students/apprentices from Ruskin Mill college over the last few years.
Pleacher is the term for a laid stem – partially cut through either with saw or billhook/axe just leaving a ‘hinge’ making sure the cambium layer just below the bark is intact (see below). This is where the flow of nutrients and water are drawn up into the tree.
New shoots will appear along the stem and from base in spring
Stakes are used along with ‘heatherings’ (binders made from thinner stems cut from the hedge) which have been stripped (known as ‘snedding’) and wound through the stakes to hold the pleachers in place.
The completed hedgelaying task and a very satisfying end to the day.