Removing privet hedge

We have a hedge that runs the length of our garden, nearest the house is a nice tidy section of privet which gives us privacy all year round.  The rest is a mixed bag; some privet, rose of sharon, holly, quince.  There is a section pf particularly tatty privet which had been neglected and then hacked back from the sides which I've decided to replace because I want more variety.  I've already ordered the bare root plants, a mixture of Hawthorn, Guelder Rose, Bird Cherry etc.  My question is what is the best way to remove the existing privet?


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    The simple answer is to dig it out. Cutting back will only encourage new growth.

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    My original plant was to cut back hard to renovate but stupidly I though I'd replace it. My border fork was ready to snap in half and I was too feeble to do it with a full sized fork too so look like a job for the old man!  So I've cut 4 meters down to a foot tall so far ready for him to dig it out.  If the worst comes to the worst is there any equipment we could hire to dig it out?

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Can you get a mini digger into your garden? You can get terribly compact diggers small enough to fit through a standard doorway (see link below) if you've a side gate. These would make short work of digging your hedge out! (We'll be hiring on in the new year).


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    Can you get your car round there? We've done it by digging out what we can, tying a rope on to what's left of the privet, the higher the better. Then I pull with the car while OH levers or bashes with a mattock. 

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    We've got a side gate but no access with a car sadly.  I'll definitely look at getting a mini digger if husband can't manage it as long as it's not too expensive!

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    I know it will regrow but I already have a lot of privet which the sparrows hide in.  The garden is 100 feet long so plenty of space for both.  The thing is privet is so boring and growing any monoculture is not very good for wildlife.  All the new plants are chosen to provide food for the birds which will save spending lots of money on food, I do still provide fat balls though.  I think watering is a good idea first too as we haven't had much rain lately.

  • My next door neighbour & I removed our past it's sell-by-date privet using a short scaffolding pole!! Knock the pole into the soil as far as is possible, at least 2 feet & if possible a reasonable distance from the hedge, we managed at around 8 feet, fasten a rope round a section of the hedge as close to the soil as possible, then using a pair of stilsons, (we drilled a hole in the tube & inserted a bar) take a few turns of the rope round the pole & start to turn as a Capston works. My neighbour took up the rope as I simply turned the pole, bingo, out came the hedge a section at a time.

  • I'm glad I read this post I have two conifer stumps to remove in my front garden it never occurred to me to tie them to the 4x4 and pull going to have a go later in the week



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