Hedging “most effective” in improving air quality

It’s official. Planting trees and hedging plants is good for the environment! Ok, so we’ve known this for some time.  But the momentum behind recent stories in the media has gathered pace over the past few months, and we’re keen to support any initiative, think tank or research that proves the point!

Hedging improves air quality

Organised by Horticulture Week, one of the leading publications in the land of growing, planting and landscaping in the UK, the Healthy Design, Healthy Places Conference took place in December 2017.

Landscape designers, property developers, architects and environmental services providers shared a raft of evidence, ideas and examples of how to drive a greater focus on green infrastructure in new developments.  One of the speakers, Chris Churchman of Churchman Associates presented some of the findings from their recent studies into the effects plants have on alleviating pollution.  “We know that evergreen hedges, deciduous hedges and living walls are the top three at removing pollution.” the research found, said Churchman.

What’s that at the pinnacle of their findings? HEDGING – Winner as the “Plants Most Effective Against Pollution”.  And that’s not all – your hedge really, REALLY works hard! Read more>>

With a growing raft of research showing the benefits of hedging for trapping air pollution, it is no surprise that conscientious gardeners and urban homeowners are reaching for manageable evergreen and deciduous hedging options. Good pollution-filtering, fast establishing hedges include privet – Ligustrum vulgare and the Boxleaf Honeysuckle –Lonicera nitida.  For a smarter, denser option, think Yew – Taxus baccata – dense, evergreen and with tiny soft needles maximising pollutant absorption, it’s easily kept trimmed and smart, too.

With the #GreatBritishBareroot season now well underway, you can buy your bare root hedging plants now.

Hedging for Pollution Filters


Planting hedges “cuts toxic fumes by around a third”

In another story that piqued national interest last year, a paper in the journal Atmospheric Environment says tall trees are good at absorbing pollution in more open areas – but hedges can trap toxins at exhaust pipe level, reducing people’s direct exposure to harmful pollutants.   The main author of the paper, Dr Kumar, of Surrey University, told BBC News: “The big thing about hedges is that they are right down at tailpipe level.  The emissions from vehicles starts to dilute very quickly as you move away from the road – so any hedge that acts as a barrier slowing down the airflow and catching pollutants on the leaves is going to offer people in homes better protection.”  A previous study in Guildford found that planting hedges along a busy main road cut toxic fumes by around a third.

“Any hedge that acts as a barrier slowing down the airflow and catching pollutants on the leaves is going to offer people better protection”

Roadside hedging


We were also encouraged to hear the announcement this week of the creation of a vast “ribbon of woodland” across the North of England. We’re hopeful that this long-overdue support from the Government will encourage and inspire home and landowners to boost the UK’s natural environment by planting trees and hedges in their own gardens and landscapes, too.


Will you step up this year and plant a hedge?!  Get 10% discount for all online orders at www.treesandhedging.co.uk

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