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Privet hedge

I there I've just joined I'm moving next week to a garden that has privet hedges both sides look very high to me, I would like to keep them but they seen to be brown and green all down the side, as I've never had hedges,only fences ,can I just cut the tops,please help.
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  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,722
    They're semi-evergreen so can look a bit iffy at this time of year particularly if there's been a cold snap, but they'll shoot out new growth in the spring.
    Privet will grow back from wherever you cut it, as long as it's alive. You can cut the tops but you might want to do the sides as well, if it's wide as well as high. If they're a lot too big and you want to cut back into quite thick branches, it's often recommended do one side and then the other a year later but I think reasonably healthy privet would probably regrow if you chopped it all over. It's best to aim for sloping sides with the top narrower than the base, so that the top part doesn't shade out the lower part which causes bare-ness near the bottom.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    I think most privet hedges are looking a bit rubbish this year. Mild autumn, so lots of soft growth, then a colder period which affected that. 
    Other than that, @JennyJ's advice is excellent, and privet is quite to hard to kill of completely. A bit of trimming done over a couple of months in the growing season will get it into shape.  :)
    They love loads of water [rainwater] and it's worth clearing around the base to get rid of any rubbish or dead material/weeds etc, and you can then add a bit of compost or rotted manure to give the hedge a boost after your first trim. A healthy soil will help generally.
    A mulch is also useful for retaining moisture and keeping weeds down, as well as helping the soil, and also sets off the hedge nicely. In dry areas, that's especially useful, but apply it when the soil is nicely dampened. You can use anything for that [compost etc] and bark is particularly good.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you so much,I'm a tropical gardener so have no idea about hedges,I live in Devon so there's hardly any,o ly dry stone walls .
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,376
    edited 12 January
    Central Dartmoor maybe, but otherwise a normal English county.  Beech, and near the coast Tamarix?  And the usual black- and white-thorn field boundary hedges.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • As I'm moving from torquey  to the Midlands I. Wondering how my banana trees will fare as I'm bringing them with me,
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    I'm sure it'll be fine @chriswebster4711GHrHWUBB, and it should get plenty of rainwater to keep it happy.
    If you can upload a photo or two, that always helps [generally] with advice. A hedge is a useful backdrop for other planting, and for getting that 'borrowed landscape'  as well. Enjoy creating your new plot  :)

    A dry stone wall is a delightful thing though. Lots of them up here too   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Ooh I can't wait the garden is a bit of a state,to b honest but a blank canvas for me to create a tropical paradise.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    edited 12 January
    A blank canvas is always good fun @chriswebster4711GHrHWUBB, although it can be challenging as well.
    Keep us updated with your progress too if you can. Good luck with it   :)

    I just saw your previous query about your bananas. I don't grow them but I think Devon is generally fine, although they'd need overwintering, especially if you're at any altitude. There's quite a few people on the forum who grow them, so they should be able to advise   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,376
    edited 12 January
    I'm not so confident that everything wiil be fine.  Moving from Torquay to the Midlands is a big climate change.  Just read some of those "cris de coeur" from the pre-Xmas freeze.  And earlier the drought and excess heat diring the summer.

    A pity posters don'r give us more details of where they are gardening.

    Monty Don grows bananas at Longmeadow, Herefordshire.  But he has a larger team than he shows.

    Back to hedges.  You will soon realise their value in the MIdlands.  Personally. privet is my least favourite.  I would replace it with somethings that meets your tropical theme.  Photinia "red robin" seems to be gatherinf favour as a hedging plant.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • RedwingRedwing SussexPosts: 1,314
    I like privet; it's also good for wildlife.  It can be cut back very hard; now is a good time and it will grow back strongly.  Being partly/mostly evergreen, as has been said, I would have thought it would make a good backdrop to your preferred tropical style of gardening. It will also provide some protection, which has got to be good.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
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