Hedges and hedgerows are lines of closely spaced shrubs and/or trees which have been planted and trained to form a barrier or to mark a boundary. Strictly speaking, a hedgerow is a hedge which is of sufficient age that it also incorporates larger trees.
Hedges can be ancient. The earliest evidence of hedges dates back to the Neolithic (4000-6000 years ago), and even today many hedges in the British Isles have survived Enclosure and modern mechanized farming and are thought to date back at least 700 years. Older hedges such as these provide important ecological corridors that harbor diverse wildlife.
In horticulture, hedges are used as landscape features or to mark boundaries in an attractive manner. A number of characteristics can be chosen. As well as climate suitability; speed of growth, thorns (to deter livestock), attractive flowers, and fruit may all be desirable features.
Use this tag for all questions about hedges, such as choosing a good hedging plant, and caring for a hedge.