"Scalped" Leylandii - can thinning deadwood help?
I inherited a few 3m leylandii hedges nearly three years ago which had been "scalped" back to a thick wall of dead wood on their northern side. Whilst the dead area has remained pretty constant, I notice the area around the edge of the dead patches are relatively full of life and in some places leaved branches are growing behind the thatch of dead wood. My instinct says I should thin away dead wood nearest the living branches to give them room to grow and guide trapped branches out through it.
The dead patches are irregularly shaped but are around 2 feet in diameter with hardly an inch of open spaces through the wall of dead wood.
Am I right to thin deadwood, or guide out trapped leaved branches, or will this have some negative consequences?
Thin out the dead wood. Conifers do not grow back from brown wood so you'll have to hope he remaining greenery will grow and spread enough to cover your bare patches. Try giving the green parts a spray feed using a solution of seaweed fertiliser to encourage them.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Thanks for the tip obelixx. I'll track down some seaweed fertiliser and that'll be on my list of jobs for tomorrow!