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Hedge Removal

ciaranmcgreneraciaranmcgrenera Posts: 5
edited 18 October in Problem solving
My garden is surrounded on 3 sides by hedge, planted before our time. The sun hits the right hand side in the afternoon and evening as you look from the house all summer.

The hedge on the right is full of bindweed and ivy. I’d like to remove it and use that side to create a spot to sit in the sun on good summer days- maybe with a nice pergola with some climbers. I also want to replace the shed with a greenhouse. 

To do this I’d pull out some of the hedge in the bottom left which is in shadow for most of the year. I will put down a concrete plinth and put in a decent-sized steel shed.

The reason I’m here is for advice.

how do I go about getting rid of the hedge? How far gone do the roots have to be before I put concrete down on top? So I need to dig everything out or can I put something down to kill off the roots? Are there any things I need to be careful of?


  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 280
    What plant has been used to create the hedge and how thick are the trunks? Answers to these questions should help the forum identify the best course of action. 
  • I *think* it’s Common Privet. The thickest trunks would be an inch an a half/ two inches diameter. It’s fairly dense, and I have to cut it back HARD every winter. It’s ravenous of any water in the garden. I don’t at all like it, but it does provide some privacy.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 425
    It made me wonder what's on the other side of it.  If it's uninhabited, e.g. a field, half an hour with a tractor and a strong rope would pull the lot out, roots and all, if you know of a local farmer who'd do it for you.  I mention this as there's no talk of a neighbour being affected/involved when it's removed.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 34,027
    If it's privet, it isn't difficult to get out. Saw it back and dig out. It might take a while, but it's good graft for cooler days.
    Or you can use a brushwood killer [Vitax SBK is the usual one] on stumps after taking them right back to about a foot and clearing them of enough foliage for access. Winter is the usual time for that to be effective. 
    Alternatively, as @nick615 says, if there's nothing to the other side, you can get someone in to help. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Fair question. That would be ideal alright, but we’re hemmed in on sides, and hedges are inside boundary walls with our neighbours.

    Neighbour on the right is happy, I’m sure they look at the ivy and bindweed in that hedge and worry about it ending up in their garden!

    Left is happy- he has a shed down in the bottom right of his garden so they’d be back to back, so no issue. 

    Backside neighbour didn’t say much but didn’t mind massively. I said I’d put up some sort of fencing to top off the wall, but he didn’t seem to mind. He has some Big trees (as you can see) and some bushes on his side of the wall regardless.

    I’d say my only option will be to saw down and then either kill the roots or dig them out- or some combo of the above.
  • Thanks @Fairygirl. That looks like the most likely plan.

    The questions does remain in my head though- how much needs to come out before it’s safe to concrete above. I don’t want the plinth cracking a few years down the road!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 34,027
    I really can't answer that without being there.
    If you're putting a concrete plath down for a shed, you need a reasonable found, but there are too many ins and outs to be covered by a query on a forum.
    You'll have to see once you get the hedge out. If the ground is stable, it's pretty straightforward. If it isn't, you need more concrete  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 425
    OK, so now we've solved the neighbour situation, I'd 99% guarantee that pulling the whole pieces out will prevent a resurgence by the bits of root left behind if under concrete.  I note you're a 'we' so if you tie a piece of strong rope round each stem as near to ground level as you can, then place a block of something (bricks etc) to a height at least 9 inches above that, a strong length of timber will enable you to lever each bit of hedge out completely by tying the timber to the bottom of the bit, resting it on the block and using the leverage to lift it out.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,731
    Privet isn't particularly deep rooted anyway, so digging/levering the stumps out shouldn't be too difficult.  I had a similar sized one completely removed and a couple of lads from a small local garden maintenance company managed it in half a day for £250.  I did it that way mainly so they would chip it on-site so I didn't have to deal with trying to get rid it myself; Privet has such an awkward growth habit that it almost impossible to shred it with a home-type machine, so either a huge bonfire or many, many trips to a tip.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • @BobTheGardener, @nick615, @Fairygirl, thanks all. You’ve all been very helpful. I’m reassured at least that I’m not going to be digging down for feet (except maybe to deal with the bindweed!). 
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