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Replacing conifers

Hello, this is my first post and hopefully you guys can give me some advice. At the bottom of my modest garden I have a substantial "wall" of conifers, I believe leylandii cypress? The plus points are that they provide excellent privacy, as another garden backs onto ours and only a 6ft fence stands between us both. I'd imagine they also serve as a bit of soundproofing from the neighbours at the back, something you'd probably notice after you took them down!

The problem is that I have an east facing garden, meaning in the evening when we're typically going to be sitting outside, the sun is at the bottom of the garden, on the conifers. Not only this, they're approximately 7ft deep meaning I lose nearly a quarter of my garden length to these things! In an ideal world, I'd like to take them out and have a decked area to sit on down the bottom, however I like their privacy qualities and wondered what would be a good less obtrusive alternative that wouldn't take up so much space front to back but provide good privacy and height, perhaps on trellis, on top of the 6ft fence at the bottom.

I've attached a picture if it helps.





  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,992

    In Scotland you are only allowed a fence 6ft and under without planning permission. It may be the same for you so trellis on top of the fence may be a no-no. If you had lots of money a row of pleached trees would be the biz instead of the hedge.................

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,232

    I don't know about the planning position but how about you built a raised deck to sit on in the evening and retreat from when the neighbours come out to play?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Percy-GrowerPercy-Grower Posts: 251

    I might be way off the mark here with this idea, but cant you cut the branches of the Leylandii back to the trunk on your garden side, don't know how much space this will save you or how it will look, but it shouldn't kill them, they wont grow back but it's something worth trying first rather than going to all the bother of pulling them out, you can also reduce the hight if need be, then consider growing something over them, as i say just an idea, i'm no expert, i'm sure some of the good people on here will let you know if there is any flaws in this idea...

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,992

    If you were to remove the conifers you could build a pergola with your seating underneath it. With climbers over the pergola, and lattice at the back, that would give you added privacy to 6.5-7ft. You don't want the deck to be raised at all. The pergola would get over the issue of not being able to extend the fence any higher.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Having taken out 200 - yes 200 golden leylandii because they were looking brown in patches, believe me cutting back to the trunks on your side would leave a terrible mess of dead wood on the inside of the hedge. We have dug soil improver and Vitax into the soil where the hedge had been for 20 years, put up a 2 meter fence and covered this with clematis, solanum, roses, honeysuckle, sweet peas, tall growing perennials etc.  I don't miss the hedge anymore because we have much more variety and colour.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,992
    Percy-Grower wrote (see)

    I might be way off the mark here with this idea, but cant you cut the branches of the Leylandii back to the trunk on your garden side

    I think P-G means cutting all the lower branches back to the trunk to the height of the fence giving bare trunks and lollipop trees. Interesting idea..................


    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Kevin daleKevin dale Posts: 135

    Hi tom may I suggest getting fire thorn instead? Dug that lot up firethorn offers a solid wall of thorns to keep out the lowlifes is evergreen and has orange red or yellow berries great for the birds grows high and thick if you want it to and its low maintenance growth is quick 

  • HocHoc Posts: 8

    a garden that I pass on the way to work has a pleached lelandii hedge, underplanted with low growing plants and it looks great - privacy and height, without the oppresiveness

  • Percy-GrowerPercy-Grower Posts: 251

    Even if the cut back looks bad you can always grow climbers etc etc up and over to create a more aesthetic looking hedge using the trunks and dead wood..

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