The old fashioned form of pleaching is super trendy again and comes from the French word 'plecher' which means to braid. It is the method of planting trees in a very straight line and overtime the branches intertwine to create a hedge but with a difference, the hedge appears to be on stilts, after the lower branches have been removed.
Pleached trees can be used along fencelines, line a driveway or walkway, create a boundary and will also screen for you.
How do you do it?
You can create a pleached effect very easily by removing the lower foliage on your shrubs to make them look more like trees; in effect you will create a hedge on the top with the foliage that remains and clear single trunks below. This has the advantage of creating space underneath enabling additional planting of low shrubs, ground-covers or grasses. You can also add in some lighting underneath for a fabulous visual effect.
What trees are best for Pleaching?
Bamboo - Bambusa textilis gracilis
Ficus hillii 'Flash - Ficus roots can be evasive but it is said that pleaching keeps the roots under control
Ornamental Pears - Pyrus varieties
Fruit Trees - Tilia Lime, Apple & Pear
Evergreen Magnolias, Magnolia grandiflora varieties such as 'Little Gem'
Lilly Pillys such as Acmena or Syzygium