Leylandii defy high hedge law to become more popular than ever

Fast-growing conifer in short supply despite Government legislation to tackle high hedge disputes

Leylandii are in short supply despite the Government bringing in high hedge legislation five months ago to solve neighbours’ disputes about the fast-growing tree. Conifer growers say Cupressocyparis leylandii sales are at their highest since the hybrid’s 1970s heyday. But householders inconvenienced by the trees, which can grow up to 1m a year and block out light and views, have hit out at gardeners who buy them, calling their decision “absurd”. Partner Roger Ward of Golden Grove Nursery in Boston, Lincolnshire, who is also chairman of the Association of British Conifer Growers, said: “The demand for Leylandii has been fantastic. We have sold out two years running. “And it’s the 2m ones that people want most. They’re looking for instant privacy.” Owner Neil Jackson of Pershore, Worcestershire-based Neil Jackson Nurseries said the hedging has had a high profile in the media since parliament passed the High Hedges Bill in June. “It has resulted in the public becoming more educated about hedges. Interest has increased in Leylandii when you might have expected the opposite. This has resulted in a shortage of Leylandii in the UK at the moment — especially large ones,” Jackson added. Up to 40,000 householders in the UK experience problems with high hedges, according to campaigning organisation Hedgeline. Hedgeline policy director Clare Hinchliffe said the rise in sales is “absurd” adding: “Leylandii is not something for the private garden.” Hinchliffe said some councils were putting unsuitable people in charge of enforcing the law, under which complaints must be paid for by householders who want the trees trimmed or removed.

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