Replanting between leylandii stumps

KittyCKittyC Posts: 6

I have a leylandii hedge along the north boundary of my garden.  I dislike leylandii as I find it boring (and I'm allergic to it!).  There are too many to dig out, and due to the terraced nature of my garden, I can't grind or pull the stumps out.  The hedge is about 5 metres long with about 18 leylandii (planted about 30 cm apart).  The hedge is currently about 1.5m high.


As it's a northern boundary, I want to have something to protect from wind etc, and a panel fence wouldn't suit the rest of the garden.  I was condidering trimming all the branches and some of the top of each leylandii to leave bare stumps of about 1m ish tall.

I then wanted to plant or transplant other plants inbetween the stumps.  I have 2 buddleia and 2 ceanothus that need relocating.  My questions are:

  1. is this a really stupid plan?
  2. will the leylandii just grow back?
  3. will anything grow inbetween?
  4. will the ceanothus /buddleia transplant?
  5. what else couldI plant inbetween?
  6. have you any other suggestions?

Thank you!




  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    The leylandii will not grow back-once you have decimated them-but the roots will still there and you are unlikely to get anything into the near-soil-and the soil will be rubbish now anyway.

    So you really can't plant any thing in between-unless you go down the container route and place those inbetween- you are then responsible for feeding watering etc

    You best bet-but it will costimage-is to have the trees removed and the stumps ground out by a professional company-then you can enrich the soil and you might be in with a chance

    Others may have ideas for you

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    This is the stump of a fir tree, about 5 feet high, and about 1 foot in diameter. I planted some ivy, in the very impoverished soil, just at the base of the stump....

    Ivy takes a while to establish itself. That's 3 or 4 years old. But it will cover just about anything. image

    Buddlea is not very demanding. It will grow in very poor situations where there is virtually no soil.

  • KittyCKittyC Posts: 6

    Thank you for all the advice so far. 

    I don't think that I can get the stumps ground out - the machinery will need to be manually lifted up 6 steep garden steps  to the level of the trees.....

    ...can the stumps be killed off...without killing anything else?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    You can but stump killer-have never used it so have no idea how effective it or how long it takes to work


  • Pennine PetalPennine Petal Posts: 1,541
    I took some down in my garden and left the stumps in, was a bit worried about honey fungus, but they've been fine. Enriched the soil and carried on planting. It's been a couple of years now, perhaps it's time I had a look at them!
  • How old are these leylandiis and what is the diameter of the trunks at ground level?

  • KittyCKittyC Posts: 6

    Sorry, was away!  I'm not sure how old they are - I only moved to the property 10 months ago.  The trunks vary between 4-7cm ish in diameter.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,677

    If they're that small then you can wiggle them out as and when you have time.  Remove all the branches to prevent them gorwing any more.  This will weaken the roots over the next few months.  Then just take a trunk and wiggle it out.  

    We did this when we moved into our garden in Harrow in '82.  I thad a "hedge" of 30' high leylandii planted 3 feet or so apart.  Being innocents, we started by raising their crowns by cutting off all the lower branches to head height, thus uncovering a paved path down one side of the grass and a bare conifer border.  Suddenly our garden was 2 metres wider.   Then we got on step ladders and took out the tops, then took off some more till we were left with bare stumps which gradually got wiggled out as we worked our way down the 80' garden boundary over the next year.   Our neighbours were chuffed to bits as they suddenly had no more rain shadow and got afternoon and evening sun for them and their plants.

    The Vendée, France
  • I've left stumps after professionally having them chopped down last year. One is two feet diameter (having been 40 ft high. I have planted lots of perennials and llsome black bamboo between them and you can't see the stumps at all.
  • KittyCKittyC Posts: 6

    How well have the plants taken in the soil.  I've read that leylandii strip the soil of nutients....


    ..just have to think what to plant to obscure my view of the neighbours... (and theirs of me!)

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