Australian Native Hedging …

I’ve been looking at the benefits of hedging for a while now. 

The more I looked at it, the more I am convinced that hedges offer a range of benefits that go beyond a natural fencing system.

Looking at the hedging systems of the kingdom isles, the benefits included “hard benefits” such as habitats for wildlife, wind and shelter breaks as well as the “soft benefits” such as the fact that there are deep rooted plants that help maintain the fertility of the land (through mineral raising) along with other benefits deep rooted plants offer such as soil management and salinity control.

Hawthorn Hedges are, unfortunately, considered a noxious weed in Victoria and thus not an option. So, I’ve been lookibng for examples of Australian native plants that can be used to create an old system hedge. 

So far I have identified two locally native plants that may be suitable – specifically Acacia paradoxa aka Hedge Wattle (or Kangaroo Thorn in some areas) and Bursoria spinosa aka Sweet Bursaria (or Christmas bush or Blackthorn) both seem to be a thick, prickly bushes that seem to offer the same form of features the Hawthorn Hedge offers.

Now, trying to find examples of implementations of such hedges is my new challenge.  

I am now accepting any and all commentary, case studies and pointing in random directions from any and all readers!

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12 thoughts on “Australian Native Hedging …

  1. Hey Nathan,No, I never got any feedback, and try as I might, I could not locate any research or literature on the matter. I guess, that since this is a long term solution, the economic reality of the cost and time of putting up a three wire fence vs a hedge means it is unlikely to have been an option.That said, I have committed myself to a one kilometre experiment involving 500 saplings of each coming in with my Wildlife corridor sapling shipment. All I need to do now is decide whether I need to learn the bullock or devon hedge laying styles or if i can get away with a simple welsh double-brush style … Ahhh, the joys of experimentation!As always, I’ll keep you informed 🙂

    • I would certainly contact the Baw Baw Shire Council as part of my Planning Permit they want me to plant 15-20 Hawthorn Plants >450mm in height – they have advised they’re readily available – this is to blend into a Heritage Section down the road where I’m building a new house – despite there never being any Hawthorn trees in the first place. In other parts of the Shire the council spray Hawthorns to kill them – CRAZY!!!!

  2. Hey Simon, thanks for reading, and even more so for responding! I did indeed look at Gorse. In fact, it was almost an ideal contender for the purpose. That said, it is with some irony that according to Department of the Environment and Heritage and the CRC for Australian Weed Management that "Gorse is a Weed of National Significance and is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts." Further Caring For Country, Landcare and a few CMAs have all been running active anti-gorse campaigns over the last few years, so I do perceive a way forward utilising Gorse that does not invoke the fury of a thousand glyphosate wands.I will keep up my path and will happily share my experiences in this space as I go.

  3. Another native Australian hedge plant with vicious spikes is Native Australian "Gorse" (Daviesia ulicifolia)It grows 1.5 to 2 metres tall, usually 180cm tall, and 1.5 metres wide.

    • If it’s anything like the N.Z Gorse I reckon it would be excellent as a hedge. I love the idea of the OP. Very interesting and one I’ve thought about too.

  4. Hi there!
    I’d love to know how your thorny hedge experiment is coming along. I am looking for a native hedge olution that will keep kangaroos and wallabies out of my garden. Am looking for plants to use along paddock boundaries as well as shorter hedges for the vegie garden. I figure that the right plant will be cheaper and have greater environmental benefits than kilometres of expensive wire fencing.

    Cheers,
    JR

    • Hey Jude,

      Unfortunately, my experiment failed due to a downturn (read “flash drought”) in the weather. We planted the seedlings in and then the rain just stopped falling. No rain from October 6th through to mid-April and we could do nothing but watch them all die.

      I have since spoken to a few others who have done smaller scale barriers and they have confirmed that it does deter The larger animals (roos, wallabies, dogs, etc) and allows smaller animals both protection and access. The sweet bursaria seems to be the plant of choice for gardens whilst the acacia paradoxia the “utility” plant of choice for boundaries.

      I will be re-starting the experiment again next year, so will keep the blog updated with those details.

      Good luck with your own plans and do keep me informed.

      Regards,
      Taiss

  5. Bursaria spinulosa might work well. Hedge wattle is brutal – too hard to work with I would have thought. Although all are on a wallaby’s menu list, so not impervious to getting munched by wildlife….
    A lot of pear rootstock is fairly prickly and might work?

  6. I know its problematic with miner birds etc
    but Grevillea rosmarinafolia would be a great prickly hedge?

  7. Really interested to read this. I find our bursaria rather slow growing, and they’re a little hard to get good numbers of seedlings. My theory is they live so long they don’t need to be good seeders. How did your second try at a hedge go? I’m very curious.

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