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Cutting back neighbours privet hedge


 I have decided to radically prune my neighbours privet hedge. It's about 3 metres tall, and as they have a gardener, is kept really neat on their side. My side, I have struggled to keep in check, it's generally neat but encroaches on my garden to a width of about a metre. It is full of I think, vine weevil. So, today out with the loppers and hedge timmer!

i think I am within my rights to trim back to the boundary. Should I give the cuttings to my neighbour to dispose of? I have no car and therefore cannot take them to the tip. I could burn it, but wonder will this be ok too add to fruit beds, or would I be better disposing of it it otherwise? This may incur a cost though.

your thoughts fellow GWers, gratefully received!




  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,887

    Although it is true that you are safe to prune your neighbour's hedge back to the boundary, you may find that in practice this is not advisable (at least not in one fell swoop). Privet hedges look dense at first but the removal of a lot of growth in one go could produce a very thin and flea-bitten appearance, which might be a nasty shock for your neighbour.

    The law in England only requires you to offer any fruit or flowers from the prunings to your neighbour. It doesn't say that your neighbour must get rid of your handiwork for you.

    Before you begin any work of this sort I would recommend a friendly, neutral sort of conversation with your neighbour about what you would like to see from your side and ask the neighbour what his or her views might be on how to achieve it.

    And when you have done the work a bottle of wine or a box of decent chocs would probably help alleviate the effects of any unexpected and unforseen surprises.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,028

    If you get on with the neighbours just let them know that you are going to cut it back to the boundary and ask if their gardener would be able to dispose of the prunings as you have no car.

    The hedge between ourselves and our neighbour became unmanageable and was bald in the middle where its own weight, and winter snow, had pulled it apart.  We removed the entire thing and each regained over a metre of garden width.  Result!image

  • Thank you all for your advice.... I will have a friendly chat and see if her Gardeners can take away e prunings, and try and engage in friendly What we both want to make the best of the garden type conversation. Fingers crossed!

    once again, many thanks for the advice.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,046

    I was a professional gardener for about 30 years. My understanding is that you can legally cut back to the boundary, but you " must offer " your neighbours the prunings. They are under no legal obligation to accept them , nor can you (  I'm sure YOU'D not do this ) just chuck them back over the fence.

    Keep it civil, friendly and neighbourly, but if her gardener needs to pay to dispose of them at a local " tip", as it'd be classed as " trade waste", I think it not unreasonable for the you to pay for this.

  • wouldn't dream of chucking it back into my neighbour's garden, agree Verdun, far too provocative. 

    Hostafan1, thanks for the tip re professional gardeners needing to pay for trade waste...  I suspect in that case they will refuse. I will drop a note in or try and catch her for a friendly chat & offer her the prunings, otherwise i think i will just have to burn it or bag up for the bin men to take, they are supposed to take up to 5 bags per week garden waste.

    thanks everyone for all your advice.image

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,046

    happy to help

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,028

    "bag up for the bin men to take, they are supposed to take up to 5 bags per week garden waste."

    Can I bring my green waste to you please?  We have to pay £36 per year for the privilege of having our garden waste taken away!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,147

    Same here KT, except it's £39 I think. I've never used the system, I have a shredder 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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