privet hedge

Hi. I am very very new to all this so please bare with me. I have planted about 30 bare rooted Privet hedges, they are currently 2ft tall and each one has around 3 - 4 branches and some buds are starting to leaf. My question is when do I start to prune them to encourage a thicker hedge and also with regards to pruning, does that just evolve cutting the branches back? Thanks


  • Ah that's great thanks Tetley. Wile I'm on it, how often should I be watering them?
  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    If you google you will find conflicting information. Some say to remove the top third from newly planted bare root plants. Some say to remove more. Some including Monty Don say to only trim the side, not the top until it reaches the required height.

    I planted a privet hedge using 45 bare root plants. It's not bad after 3 years now, but only about 4 foot tall. I regularly trim the tops and sides to encourage branching, maybe twice a year as I want it to be bushy. It is a bit bare near the bottom, but not too bad, and the bluebells et al like the ground underneath.

    If I were to start again, I'd cut the top 1/3 off the bare root plants, to encourage a more bushy growth.

    They say it needs watering in dry weather. I feed with blood fish and bone in spring, and I put down lots of hedge shreddings as mulch, which improves the soil.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,943

    I do exactly the same as Leif, chop all bare root hedging back on planting, that kick starts the roots to grow.

    I did the same with 45 privets 3 years ago, did we get them from the same place I wonder, daren't mention on here though!!

    I have never watered them or the long laurel hedge, you need the roots to go deep in search of moisture, unless you run a water system all night, you can do more harm than good. If you only water the top few inches of soil, thats where the roots will stay.

    Maybe I am wrong, but nothing wrong with either of my hedges.

    The more I study Monty, the more I see there is a difference in what he tells you and what he does. Dont get me wrong, I love the man and he has been my only inspiration when I first got to tend this garden.

    My OH says he has a lot to answer for!!!

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 24,622

    I'm with Lyn on this - have had several hedges bare root - they've all had a chop on planting and established and grew well producing strong hedges within a couple of years. A good watering on planting and then leave them to it. That's also why autumn is a better time to plant as you're guaranteed the winter rain to keep them happy, although up here it's not an issue planting in spring either  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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