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Pleachers questions....

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Hi being doing abit of hedge laying. Told its it bad technique when the pleachers split either down into base or up the trunk...



Alot of pictures on internet the pleachers have really long cuts on the bigger diameter stuff  so a very long hinge area which I assume reduces chance or pleacher splitting?

(Maybe where i was going wrong my cuts were shorter and @ less steep angle than picture below)


Looks hard to do with a handsaw billhook &  axe I assume they are  mostly done using chainsaw?


Or does  billhook or   axe just neet to ne razor sharp etc to get cuts the that long.



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They live even if they do split down the stem a bit. I tend to have the length of the tongue 3x the diameter of the stem . Not cutting through the stem enough and forcing it over causes splitting too. I should add I only do Devon hedgaying which involves laying the pleacher more or less flat to the bank on which the hedge grows, so splitting is probably more commonplace. I cut the stub off to the bottom of the split if it happens.

Edited by Matthew Storrs
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the longer cut means there is more support to stop splitting upwards.

If you cut down say 45 degrees and apply leverage to where the cut starts, there will be pressure on the top of the stem down to the und of the cut.

When cutting horizontal, there is none.

So some angle is beneficial to control how it splits. the above picture is excessive imo though and appears to be a typical case of style over substance as is so often the case with hedgelaying unfortunately...

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Pleachers running into the ground are ok.  Back heeling (splitting back up the pleach) is a definite no.  Pleachers will want to back heel if you leave the pleach too thick.  Get them low and get all the new growth from low down.  Doesn't matter if you use chainsaw or axe. First pic all axe work and second saw work.  Using a saw allows you to lay hedges that would be impossible to do properly with an axe.



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