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hacking back my hedge

I inherited a rather unsightly hedge which is approx. 5 foot wide and encroaching onto a public footpath I would like to take the front half away , would it rejuvenate itself to look like a hedge again (when I look inside to where I would be trimming to it is bare)

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Posts

  • What plants make up your hedge? A photo would be useful if you don't know. The treatment will depend on what is there.

  • I think it's commonal garden box ( no expert)

  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,217

    Have you got any pictures Colin ? It doesnt sound like a Bux.

  • I cant upload a photo for some reason but im reading on other sites and they're saying you must leave some greenery I wouldn't be if I cut back to where I want to

     

  • ive just realised its privet

  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,217

    Just cut it back where you want it, it come back no problem, I have done it more times than I can count.  Privet are quite hardly and now a good time to cut, it will be bare for a while but will be green again before the end of the season.

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    if its privet then hack away, its pretty hard to kill, but only do one side at a time as otherwise you'll be able to see thru it.

    I would wait until Feb time, otherwise it'll be bare for a while, and then do the other side in October. by summer next year it'll be regrown and solid

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,599

    I too have cut privet right back to the ground, it's up in no time and lovely,  thick and dense.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    If it definitely is privet it can be cut back really hard into old wood. It'll look like a massacre for a bit but it will come back.  Don't cut during frosty weather, you could leave until spring now to limit the period of staring a a hideous mess.  Give a feed when weather warms up in spring.  You will have loads of material to shed or take to the tip so plan ahead for this.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,079

    Privet can be cut back quite hard but it's best to do it over 2 years, cutting back one side harda nd leaving the other side lightly trimmed so its leaves act as a food factory for the plants.   You need to do it before March or next autumn or you risk disturbing any nesting birds.    I would also advise giving the hedge a good mulch of garden compost and a scattering of pelleted chicken manure to feed it and encourage thicjk new growth.

    The next year, do the same thing on the other side of the hedge and trim the top.  repeat the feeding.   Thereafter, keep the hedge trimmed a couple of times a year being careful to avoid the nesting period for birds.

    Here is what the RHS advises for renovating overgrown hedges:

    How to renovate hedges

     Before undertaking work on hedges, check that there are no nesting birds in the hedge, as it is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.

    Where drastic renovation is necessary (i.e. more than one-third reduction in height or width), it is better to stage this gradually over two or three years.

    Year 1
    • Cut back the width on one side of the hedge only
    • Cut to at least 15cm (6in) less than the desired width, or almost to the main stems if necessary
    • Remember to cut the hedge to a 'batter' (sloping sides), so it tapers from the bottom to a thinner top, allowing light to reach the bottom of the hedge
    • Trim the other side of the hedge as usual
    • Leave the height unaltered
    • Mulch and feed in spring to encourage vigorous re-growth
    • Allow a full growing season for recovery
    • Water well in dry spells in the first growing season following renovation
    Year 2
    • Cut back the other side of the hedge, cutting almost to the main stems, if necessary. Cut to a similar batter as the previous side
    • Leave the height unaltered
    • Mulch and feed in spring to encourage vigorous re-growth
    • Allow a full growing season for recovery
    • Water well in dry spells in the first growing season following renovation
    Year 3
    • Cut back the height of the hedge to at least 15cm (6in) below the desired height
    • Cut back harder where the upper portions of the hedge are open and patchy 
    • Mulch and feed in spring to encourage vigorous re-growth
    • Allow a full growing season for recovery
    • Water well in dry spells in the first growing season following renovation
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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