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Hi, I hope you are all well. I am wanting to plant some pleached trees with their base at the same height as the top of my fence (neighbours fence) but her fence is below the level of my garden, which thus falls at a slope down to the concrete gravel board quite steeply (about 45 degrees) within 300mm of the fence. Our garden also has a slight slope from left to right as well, but her fence is level until the last 5 panels, which are stepped in 2 places. Please see photos attached.

My questions are:

  • How can we deal with this pesky little bank... The grass needs cutting with a Strimmer and the angle makes this very tricky, not to mention a chore! We have thought about putting something up against neighbours fence posts running along the length of bottom of the fence panel and filling the bank in with soil, but are worried this may push her fence! Otherwise sleepers creating a step about 1 metre away fom the fence and taking the soil out.... The sloped garden makes this tricky to get looking right though...... Help!
  • Should we step the trees with the fence or keep the tops of them all at the same height and dig deeper holes to enable this (not fill them up the trunk though as it seems from my research that this can suffocate the tree??!)
  • What is the maximum distance you would plant the trees apart. We are going for photinia x fraseri red robin

Thank you all as always for your advice.


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  • If I start the unhelpful comments...

    If you got a 1.2m clear stem and an approx 1.2mx1.2m square head, and so planted approx 20 trees (looks like you have 13 x 1.8 m  panels) that is seriously expensive (20@£150).  And it would only be 2.4m (8ft high).

    As to the line of height I think you have to follow the tops of the concrete posts.

    Looks like a big garden so do they need to be pleached?  Do you need instant coverage or can it be a 20 year project???  

    You are right about not putting earth up to the fence.  I'd suggest the simplest solution is to keep the slope, put a edge to the lawn with brick or timber, and interesting stones on membrane.  The edge will keep the stones off the grass.  Paddlestones are more expensive but look better than chippings.

    • Hi. Thank you so much for your post. I believe this could be our best option. To create an end before the slope out of brick or timber. 


      It is a bit of both really, instant in some places but a journey in other parts. If I could get 20 tree's at £150 each I would buy them straight away. I am looking at £250 each but will get a discount. I am sure it won't be £100 though.


      They don't need to be bleached but I just really like them. There was 11 conifers there before which actually encroached 6 metres into the garden. The more garden we have the better so the kids can run riot.


      Thanks for your advice. Will look into your suggestions of timber or brick. 


      Regards Lee 

  • PRO

    The simplest approach is to slide another row of gravel boards in under the fence panels, this would lift the panels up above the tops of the posts and raise the fence line, so may not be a welcome suggestion, but would allow you to raise the edge of your lawn.


    • Hi Simon, and thanks for your comment. We did think about this but the fence is not actually ours and we are pretty sure the neighbor would not be keen as it would look a bit funny on her side with the fence sticking up higher than the fence posts.


      Regards Lee 

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