Coniferous hedge cut back, advice needed

Hi,
Moved into a property with a nice hedge with the trunks forming the boundary. I don't know much about it but I'm guessing coniferous of some sort. As you can see in the attached picture it has grown out a lot (more towards the top) and covers the first flag stone of the patio.On the neighbors side it is quite tightly kept I would like to reclaim some of that space but not sure about cutting it back. I've looked into the hedge and there isn't much depth before you start getting into hard wood. Any advice would be great. 


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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,368
    If you trim a conifer back beyond the green shots and into brown wood it will not regenerate new green shoots.  You have two main options:

    1.  Trim it lightly and soon to neaten it and keep it trimmed once or twice a year to stop it encroaching further onto the path and live with the narrowed path.

    2.  Have the conifer hedge removed then either erect a good fence and replenish the soil with plenty of well-rotted manure and compost and plant some interesting shrubs, climbers, perennials, bulbs or an interesting hedge.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,433
    If it's a thuja hedge, you can cut quite far back and it will regrow, however it takes a few years to do so (voice of experience speaking). 
    If you crush the foliage it has quite a fruity fragrance - l would describe it as pineapple,  but you'll definitely smell something if it is thuja. 
    The problem you have is that if you do cut it back as far as you ideally want to, it's going to look a mess for a good while. As Obelixx says, it maybe worth considering taking it out completely. 
    Failing that, just cut it back as far as you can without exposing the wood, see how it looks and maybe have a rethink  :)
  • Thanks. It's got a very strong fragrance when I rub it. Here's a close up with a bit pulled back in case that helps identify it (it's a duller green in real life). As we don't own it we can't remove it.
  • John MacJohn Mac Posts: 19
    Oh that’s a laylandii I think, looks, just like the one I took out my garden this week! Awful things, take a chainsaw to it. The trouble is if they’re left the branches get really thick, and you can’t really prune them very well. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,513
    If you cut back into the brown twigs it'll look ghastly and it'll never be a green hedge again ... and as it's not yours you'll just have to live with it.  

    Just keep it lightly trimmed .  

    This poor poster has to live with their mistake
    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/736071/hiding-my-mistake
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,433
    The fact that it isn't your hedge raises all sorts of problems , so l would stick with a light trim :)
    It does look like thuja to me.
  • John MacJohn Mac Posts: 19
    Would drive me mad if it was intruding into my garden like that ! 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,513
    You just have to regard it as part of the structure of the garden ... it's there ... work with it  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,659
    It does favour a thuja Plicata. I think they smell of strawberry milkshake .
  • Thanks. I like the look of hedge, if there's no option then we'll just live with it. Thanks for confirming there's not much I can. Would be nice to reclaim some of the lost space but not at the expense of chopping it back to death. I'll give it a good trim now though. 
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