privet hedge

can any one help with what to do with a 20 year old hedge that has grown to 20feet around the allotment that i have just taken?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    Privet is virtually indestructible and can take hard pruningimage

    Cut it now to the height and width you want -it will soon leaf up again next yearimage

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,054

    Certainly will. Ours was so tall the telephone wires were catching in it when we moved here. It's a hedge again now

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,822

    You might find that as the privet is a greedy feeder, it has taken a lot of the goodness out of the soil, so in the land near to the hedge you might need to manure/fertilise/mulch more heavily - the same goes for watering.  

    But on ;the plus side, it will attract lots of small hedgerow birds who will help keep bugs at bay, and when it blooms it will attract lots of pollinating insect - I love privet - the smell of privet always takes me back to an idyllic holiday in Brittany years ago.image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,054

    I don't like the smell of privet flowers but the goldfinches think it's a good place to nest so it's safe from demolition.

  • thanks alot, I will give it a good prune over Christmas,weather permitting, and look forward to a thicker hedge in a couple of years.

  • I would go a bit further than drama boy and cut it to less than you want then let it grow to the shape you want with new wood

  • it stands at about 20-30 feet tall, so will it take a cut down to 5 feet in 1 go?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,822

    I'm sure it will be fine if you chop it right back, remember "growth follows the knife", so it'll soon be springing up rejuvenated - as has been said, I'd cut it back lower than you want it to be - the old wood will throw out new shoots and you'll have a lovely new hedge before very long at all image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Thanks again, I just hope the weather is kind over Christmas and I will get it done.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,822

    You'll have earned a "sit by the fire with a winter warmer" after you've done that image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • no doubt i will have to replace the lost fluids with a nice glass or two of red!

  • can you use privet for pea sticks as I now have lots of them

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    No reason why not- they might root- as is the lawimage- but when it comes to using them that is unlikely.image

  • Hi driverdiver

    i was just wondering how your privet hedge coped with such a severe cut in winter? i have a privet hedge at front of my garden which fronts on to a public footpath. The council have insisted it is cut back by 1 ft at least within the next two weeks. I am concerned that it will kill the hedge But don't really have much choice. 

  • del 12del 12 Posts: 21

    privet hedges same account as pixie queen one of my customers was told cut back of footpath so out with the chainsaw I went one December morning and took it back to middle so now instead of being 4 ft wide now 2ft wide best thing ever done hedge is stronger now than was before they are now thinking taking some of inside yes didn't look anything over winter but spring time the hedge shot out like mad just gave gentle trim through the year and now would not know been done driverdiver don't just take top off try take some out top or will get wide and wide  

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Be aware that at that height privet will flower.  It is a wonderful nectar source for butterflies and bees.  Please spare at least one bush if you can.

  • hi pixie queen

    I took the hedge down by half and like you wondered what would happen but it soon grew back and is now ready for another trim so dont worry, it will be fine. I also took some off the sides to make it thinner and again no problem

    Hope this helps

  • Thank you very much for your help. I feel reassured that it will survive. I will tackle it on Monday. Thanks again. Pixie Queen

  • sue64sue64 Posts: 1

    The leaves on my privet hedge are turning yellow. Similar hedges in other gardens are deep green. Could anyone please advise me as to why this might be happening and how I might stop it? Many thanks.

  • I've just planted several dozen wild privet in my native mixed hedgerow.Cant wait for them to flourish and give local wildlife what they desperately need!! If you are lucky enough to have the room for these plants then please consider it.A native hedge in good health is a sight to behold in the natural world.

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