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Replacing leylandii section by section

Has anyone tried to replace a leylandii hedge bit by bit successfully? We have one running down the side of our garden, with a small road / footpath on the other side which is used regularly so we're not keen on chopping it down all at once and being open to the prying eyes! I want to get some native hedging in, as we're lucky enough to have wildlife including hedgehogs visit. Can I plant a few specimens at a time by chopping say one or two leylandii back to the bone or down? Would new plants grow well? We have some holly and elder growing here and there already. 

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  • StephenSouthwestStephenSouthwest Southwest EnglandPosts: 373
    It's possible I would say, and I've thought of it and decided against it myself - quite a lot of extra work than removing and replacing in one go, and you'd get to the result you want quicker by biting the bullet this winter.
    Something I have done is to remove the leylandii, improve the soil (loads of garden compost, manure, and whatever other organic material I could get hold of), plant the new mixed hedge, but also planting some fast growing screening annuals - climbing nasturtians, runner beans, Jerusalem artichokes, for example, or/and put some temporary screens made of bamboo or hurdles, for example.
    I also put the leylandii back in as posts, to give some structure for strings or rails for temporary climbers or screening, and to help with screening.
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