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Advice on reducing the height of a hedge

I have a privet hedge that was very tall, and which I have reduced in height by a couple of feet. I have tried to cut the thick trunks below the eventual top, but have been limited by the fact some of these trunks support large sections of the front "face" of the hedge, which ideally I would not loose, meaning in some instances it is probably only a few inches. 

This means that the "edges" are generally pruned higher than the centre. 

As it stands, the hedge is about the shape I eventually want....but I am unsure if I have left enough space for new growth....any thoughts? Images below:


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,757
    Our Privet puts on a lot of growth each year, and has to be cut 2 - 3 times.  It is very forgiving of hard pruning, so I would say cut back further than you think is necessary, as it will probably be filled by new growth during this Summer alone.

    If you can give a mulch of well-rotted manure, or fresh garden compost, after cutting, this will encourage it to develop new shoots.  The odd water during hots spells also wouldn't do any harm, but is probably not necessary for such a mature hedge.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 7,782
    Privet is extremely tough, and regrows happily from old wood.  Although it will look a mess for a while, I would cut it back to a few inches lower than the required final height to get new growth which will be much easier to maintain.
  • ben 234ben 234 Posts: 7
    edited July 2020
    I've had another go. The main body of the hedge is now a good few inches lower than the desired height (circled badly on the image below).

    I have kept some of the newer,thinner the already exposed edge though, meaning the outer edge is still close to the full height:

    Perhaps I should bite the bullet and take everything down to that same height initially....
  • ben 234ben 234 Posts: 7
    Done. All taken down to ~the horizontal line in the brick below the line that I eventually want to reach
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