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Hawthorn hedge

We have an Hawthorne hedge at the bottom of our garden. At present it stands over 8ft of quite dense stems plus this years growth from when we cut it back early this year making it about 12ft plus. As it is really hard to maintain at this height we are going to hopefully take it back to 5ft making it easier to maintain, plus we will actually have a view from the garden.
My Question.....Once cut back, we intend to burn the really thick wood & shread the smaller. I know we can put the ash on the compost but could we spread the shreaded matter under the hedge to try & keep the weeds down & would it turn into mulch once it rots down?? 
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    Yes it should but be sure the ground is really well soaked after heavy rains before you spread the mulch.

    Your hedge will be fine too.  Ours, in our last garden, grew at least 6' a year and was cut back every year, top and sides.   Made it lovely and thick so a good windbreak and safe for small birds to hide form the sparrowhawk and other small critters and insects loved it too.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    Best of luck cutting it back. We did our front hedge a couple of years back. Painful, slow and unpleasant. In the end I had to use my chain saw (very dangerous), but nothing else would cut through the stuff. We actually took the cut material down to the recycling yard as I really did not fancy shredding the thorny stuff.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    If it's done every year, as ours was, you can just use loppers.    We did drag ours across the road into the paddock and burn it tho.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    Our hedge was usually cut by the road man with the big tractor, but he wanted £20 to do it last time and we had not got that much between us, so we decided to reduce the height by 3 feet so I could do it myself. No problem now it is much lower. The cuttings go in the green waste bin.
  • Thanks for the help.
    Un be knowing to me my darling hubby has already made a start behind the garage. He only mentioned it after I sent this message (and yes Bergill, the big toys came out 'chain saw'.... then he showed me his war wounds) I have now put a halt on it as think I am right saying it is too early to cut back yet.  That is our intentions Obelixx, once we have cut it back is to keep on top of it with the loppers. I'm sure we will get some heavy rains this winter so will hold back before putting the shredded matter down.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    Best to cut when it's losing or has lost its leaves but before the frosts come and damage any new wounds.   A good pruning saw is a useful tool - bit more energy required but a lot safer than a chain saw.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks Obelixx but a chain saw is needed in. Parts has it hasn't been touched properly in years. We trimmed for the last couple of  years since we moved into the house but it is just too much to maintain at the height it is. As you can see on the pic, it is as high as the summer house/pagoda and I think this pic was taken late spring
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    It does not really matter with Hawthorn when you cut it. The hedges along our lane are being cut now. Farm hedges are covered by various statutes which say when they may be cut (September onwards for England), but they do not apply to garden hedges or places where there is a need for clarity of view along a road.
    Having looked carefully at our hedge, there are no current nests in it so we cut it a few days ago.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,561
    I know about not cutting till August is done and all birds have finished nesting.  I was thinking more about visibility so you can see what you're cutting.   Is it worth hiring someone to do it this time and then you can look after it yourselves?
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you again. Berghill & Obelixx
    My hubby has had a good look for nests prior to cutting. I will now tell him that he can continue the good work 😁.  I did suggest hiring someone Obelixx but my hubby wouldn't have any of it!! I think he just likes either playing with the big toys and/or just being destructive ☺.  As Berghill said earlier, a long and painfully task but I have now been out shopping and bought some seriously heavy duty gloves which have a longer arm length.
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