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Hard pruning Hawthorn

HI we are looking to cut back our hawthorn hedging by about 12 to 18 inches, it is a long established approximately 50 year old hedge. Is it best to do this before the leaf buds appear or leave it until late autumn. Our problem is we have a large community of hedge and house sparrows and last autumn we had baby chicks well into October. Thank you for any help you are able to give.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,235

    Either do it now ... this week ... before there are any nests or leave it until November.  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027

    Now would be the perfect time.

    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,138

    It’s a good time now, before nesting starts. I’ve just done ours. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you, as soon as we have not had a hard frost for a few days we will get to it image

  • At the moment it is about 8 feet tall and very full and lush, our garden looks as if we purposely breed sparrows and would hate to see them evicted from their habitat. But we are now in our 70s and need to not have to get out the step ladders to accomplish the task. Will post in the spring and let you all know how they have responded. Thank you image

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