The Specialist Buyers Guide for Professionals in The Landscape Industry

Practicality Brown Ltd

Horticultural Influence

Alastair Beddall started his landscape contracting business in 1981, naming the company Practicality Brown, in favour of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the famous 18th Century landscape designer. Capability Brown designed some of Britain’s most spectacular park landscapes at historic homes such as Blenheim, Burghley House and Hampton Court. His designs can still be seen today, nearly three centuries later.

Company Development

During the 1980s, Practicality Brown (incorporated in 1987) worked on long term contracts for the Forestry Commission and was one of the first companies to develop tree clearance without burning. Pioneering whole tree chipping in the UK on a commercial scale in 1985, Practicality Brown have extensive experience of mechanised vegetation clearance, introducing Ahwi Mulchers in 1999 and mechanised Tree Shears in 2002.

By 1989 the company was also supplying semi mature trees and forest products to the landscape trade. In the late 1990s, Practicality Brown where instrumental in developing the Elveden Instant Hedge™ with the Elveden Estate in East Anglia. Together, they identified a need for a substantial, mature hedge up to 6ft high and planted species to grow for at least a four years before being sold in an ongoing programme.

Practicality Brown Today

Practicality Brown Ltd is an innovative, class-leading company, with divisions operating in the Landscape and Forestry Sectors. The Practicality Brown Difference:

  • We are staffed by an experienced and dedicated team who give exemplary customer service and project satisfaction.
  • We have taken advantage of constantly changing market conditions and trends, to position ourselves at the forefront of the landscape industry.
  • Our extensive experience of large tree planting is coupled with a large fleet of tree moving machinery.
  • Our unique Elveden Instant Hedge is the industry standard against which all other hedging plants are compared.
  • Our tree clearance division operates UK wide, offering a fast and efficient service with a large fleet of no-burn tree clearance equipment.

Telephone Number
01753 652022
Practicality Brown Ltd, Swan Rd, Iver, Bucks, SL0 9LA
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Case Studies

Practicality Brown Ltd has 5 products.

English Country Garden

Our client has a beautiful house set in Conservation Area of a quintessential Hampshire village with extensive established gardens; he wished to develop and divide the land whilst maintaining the mature look.  The answer was our UK grown Instant Hedges, as it provides the immediate impact and necessary maturity to complement the existing landscape.

This instant hedging is a premium product, the best in class in terms of the size, density and quality; it is perfect for high end projects that demand a superior finish, as for this English country garden.

Green Beech Instant Hedge was selected, not only to match the existing hedge, but also for its year-round screening ability and seasonal interest.  This required the new hedge to be planted in the middle, seamlessly linking to the mature existing hedges on either side.

Beech (or Fagus sylvatica) is native to the UK and has attractive foliage that emerges bright lime green before changing to the stunning rich golden/brown autumnal colours, its outstanding feature.  It is adaptable and is one our most popular instant hedges, for its seasonal variation and native heritage.

A High Hedge is a perfect privacy screen

In 2012, Practicality Brown Ltd were contracted to supply and plant a high hedge to screen a swimming pool area in a private garden. Using Thuja Occidentalis 'Brabant' (White Cedar) at a height of 4.5m they enclosed the area providing total privacy.

Elveden Instant Beech Hedge

Client: Beam Construction
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Project: Supply and Install 36 metres Instant Beech Hedge
This photo photos clearly shows the different effect produced by using either traditional size hedge transplants or our unique Elveden Instant Hedge products.

This development in Gloucestershire gained immediate maturity by the installation of Instant Beech hedge.
Green Beech holds its old leaves well throughout winter thus still providing adequate all year round screening despite being a deciduous tree.
Green Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a very traditional English hedge and remains our best seller.
These 'Before and After' photos show what a difference can be made to a development in one day!

Practicality Brown - Tree Moving

Optimal 1100 Tree Spade

Machine details

Optimal 1100 Tree Spade mounted on Kramer 520 compact loader.

Moves most species of deciduous and coniferous tree up to 110mm diameter stem (4.5") / 30 cm stem girth

Is agile and compact enough to work in nursery rows

Kramer four wheel steer and four wheel drive base offers maximum manoeuvrability and minimum ground disturbance

Machine fitted with 40km gearbox to allow longer moves on private roads

High output machine compared with usual tractor mounted type

Shape of blades ensure rootball width is maximised in the fibrous root zone unlike American style machines

Tree spade is easily changed for forks to move or load rootballed trees
Technical data 

Machine width: 2.0 metres
Machine height: 2.8 metres
Machine weight: 6400 kg
Trunk diameter: Up to 110 mm
Size of rootball: 110 cm
Weight of rootball: Up to 500 kg
Depth of rootball: 75 cm

Trunk circumference: Up to 35 cm

Big John '65'

1.6m Tree Spade
Machine details

Big John 1.6m (65") 4 x 4 truck mounted Tree Spade.

Practicality Brown imported the first Big John '65' into Europe from the USA where these machines are common-place on most large development sites.

Moves most species of deciduous and coniferous tree up to 160mm diameter stem (6 ½") / 60cm stem girth

The powerful hydraulic digging action produces rootball sizes from 1m to 1.6m in diameter

When lifting a 1.6m rootball the blade tips reach down c. 1.4m

Now mounted on Mercedes 4x4 chassis with front and rear axle diff locks and centre diff lock for maximum manoevrability and far superior traction, with minimum ground disturbance

Fitted with the latest high specification extra wide flotation tyres which minimise ground compaction
Technical data

 Machine width:~2.5 metres
Machine height:3.9 metres
Machine weight:10,000 kg
Trunk diameter:100 - 160 mm
Size of rootball:Up to 1.6 metres
Weight of rootball:Up to 2,500 kg
Depth of rootball:Up to 1.4 metres??
Trunk circumference:Up to 60 cm
Water tank capacity:Up to 250 gals

Evergreen Instant Hedge delights another customer

.. it has transformed our garden by adding years of growing in a matter of days …
The Carrington family (Suffolk), were so impressed with their new Yew hedge, that Mr. Carrington expressed himself with the following e-mail…
"Dear Alan,
I hope this finds you well. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you personally for all your help and to let you know, as I'm sure you do, how marvelous your team are. The yew hedging and larger plants went in without the slightest of fuss and the effect was both instant and amazing; it has transformed our garden by adding years of growing in a matter of days. I can't wait until spring to plant more! Please feel free to use this as a testimonial"
The customers requirement was simple, an effective screen from passing ramblers. We suggested Yew, and agreed that 2.25-2.5 metre high plants would meet their requirements. The Practicality Brown Hedge Grade plants have proved very effective. The installation of phase 1 (79 linear metres), was planted in 2 days.
We are currently on Phase 2, planting our Elveden Native Mix Instant Hedge to another area of the property. Our dedicated installation team are keen to generate even better feedback from the Carrington family, if that is possible!