Late May and the first leaves are showing on the fedge with Tulips 'Angelique' and 'Flaming Spring Green' and Salvia argentea.

During construction in late March; double rods spaced 8in apart with the help of a piece of 1/2in piece of steel and small sledge hammer. Woven in the diamond pattern and tied at intersections.

Late June and shoots are elongating on the fedge with Digitalis ambigua (yellow), Campanula persicifolia (blue) and Salvia argentea (white); a very pleasing plant combination

Late July and growth is exuberant on the fedge! Nicotiana 'Fragrant Bouquet' (and is it ever!) in front with Oriental Lilies 'Stargazer' (L) and 'Dizzy' (R).

Late August and the shoots have been trimmed back. Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' at back,

Salix udensis 'Golden Sunshine' bottom right (a patented variety from Japan that I can't propagate, sorry!)

Our 2012 Fedge

2012 Our 5ft x 15ft ‘Blackskin’ fedge during construction in early April. This is outside my workshop/shipping facility (we didn’t repaint during the summer, the wall color depends on the amount of sunlight)! I drove in 7ft x 1/2in rebars at the ends of the fedge and stretched wire across at 48in and 12in to keep the fedge upright during it’s first year. These will be removed this year. The rods were planted in pairs about 6in apart with all the rods that slant to the left placed behind those to the right for consistency.  Holes, about 12in deep were made with a crowbar first one way, then the other, the rods pushed in, firmed and watered in. The site had lots of trap rock in the soil, so I wanted to make sure the soil was in close contact around the rods. After this photo was taken, I used 4in black electrical ties at consistent intersections to form the diamond pattern; these had to be removed the following year to stop the ties from strangling the rods. The rods were trimmed to a height of 5ft. Because we had a dry summer, I watered once a month.

The same fedge after 4 years.

It’s an attractive screen and deerproof.

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2008 my first fedge using deerproof Salix purpurea varieties; using one rod in each direction.

This 7ft high fedge is in a very windy location and took the many feet of snow we had in the winter of 2010-2011 and remained upright. Willows are very flexible and have memory! I now recommend spacing the rods 1ft apart, not the 18in in the photo, as small deer can get through the diamonds!

Harlequin Fedges and Fences

To order a Harlequin Fedge kit click here: STRUCTURE KITS

A fedge is a living fence. Coined from fence and hedge. It is utilitarian, esthetically beautiful and can be used to keep deer or nosy neighbours out of your property by using tall Salix purpurea varieties. To plant a fedge read how on the following web page from an English willow expert.

Be sure to click on the “Fedge Gallery” link to get some great ideas! The only modification to their fedge plantings is that I recommend laying down heavy-duty, woven geotextile cloth before you build the fedge to keep weeds at bay and hold in moisture. Lay a garden line (or flexible garden hose on a curve) down the center of the cloth and with a sharp utility knife make 1in slits at the desired spacing for the rods. The cloth can be covered with wood chips or mulch if the look is not pleasing!

left: Almost any willow can be used as a hedge. This is a row of Salix xfragilis f. vitellina 'Rouge Ardennais' that makes a very colorful fence in winter.

right: to keep deer out of a garden, nothing beats

S. purpurea hedges. Planted densely they can't get through them and they have so much salicin in the leaves they're too bitter to eat!

How to Plant a

Willow Hedge

The ideal way is to plant a staggered, triple row of cuttings through geotextile fabric or black polyethylene on 15-18in centers.

This way you can coppice a row at a time on a three year rotation to keep the

fence a manageable size and increase density.


X   X   X   X   X   X   X

X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X

X   X   X   X   X   X   X


For other examples of Fedges from around the world check out:

but please come back!

This is a demonstration hedge of Salix purpurea 'Gracilis' at the Holden Arboretum in Ohio. If planted closer this would even keep deer out; and wouldn't screen a view you may want to keep.

At left is a snow-break near I–87 in New York State. It is about 1000ft long and perhaps 15ft tall. It is made up of two willows; but one willow, Salix miyabeana is dominating the other variety, so that was a waste of material.  

If you need a dense fence or screen, this is the willow to choose!

The great blue heron in the foreground was very nice to stay there while I took this photo!

This is a Salix purpurea screen seen in North-central Vermont. Probably works well as a snow fence too!

275ft Fedge built by Michael, April 23rd 2016, Greenwich, Connecticut

For more photos and information, please click this link > sleepy cat farm fedge

Michael is available to build fedges anywhere in the USA.

Tenafly New Jersey Fedge

Another fedge built by Michael in 2017

In a month it had produced a screen that was badly needed and is deerproof.

The fedge on the day it was planting. Mulch was put down over the groundcover cloth not put against the stems. April 29, 2017

The fedge in mid-October. A dense screen!

We installed drip irrigation on a timer by the fedge, a key to success.

The fedge is narrow as requested; the tops will be trimmed in late winter after flowering.

A fedge in the Molde Botanic Garden in Norway

summer of 2017 made from Salix koriyanagi.


of Michael Dodge