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Removing Privet hedge our of a laurel hedge


We have a strong laurel hedge but have two patches of privet growing in between and want to take out the privet without damaging the main laurel hedge. Then replace the gaps with more laurel. 

Any advice on if this is safe and best methods to remove and replace. 



  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,672
    1.  Cut the privet back first and then follow the roots to see if you can remove it without damaging your laurel.
    2.  Use a strong weedkiller on the privet and wait for it to die off.  Obviously with this method, you would have to wait for the weedkiller to do it's job.
    Only you can really decide which approach would be best as you know the height and spread of the privet and laurel.  
  • t-thornet-thorne Posts: 5
    Would the weed killer not effect the laurel 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,383
    Not if you apply it carefully. You can always cut the laurel back a bit to get access to the privet.
    Without a photo to get a sense of the sizes though, it's difficult.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,695
    If it was mine I'd keep the privet...much nicer. But I'm jesting ;)
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,312
    edited June 2020
    If you cut back the privet to just above soil level, you can very carefully drip a teaspoon full of SBK killer on the stump(s), then secure a plastic bag over the top to keep it dry.
    The SBK will kill the stumps and be absorbed into the roots, hopefully killing the whole plant without harming the laurel. Read the instructions very carefully and wear safety glasses and rubber gloves.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,781
    Can you get a pick axe in under the privet plants? Better than poison in my opinion and instantly gone.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • t-thornet-thorne Posts: 5

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,312
    @t-thorne That looks the other way round to me, mostly a privet hedge with patches of laurel!
    I'm guessing that some of the privet died off and has been replaced with laurel? As there's more privet, it looks like you could dig most of it out but you would of course be left without any privacy for a couple of years whilst the new laurel was growing. Is there a reason why you'd prefer to get rid of the privet?   
  • t-thornet-thorne Posts: 5
    The privet doesn’t grow equally with the laurel. The laurel is a nicer hedge in our opinion. The front part so all laurel up to half way to the dividing hedge. Then it’s bits n bobs, 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,781
    As the privet is mostly grouped together you should be able to cut it and pick axe it out. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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