Leggy Privet

Hi guys, I'm a newbie here so first and foremost hello to you all. I have just bought a new home in Dumfries and Galloway and have inherited a lovelyimage leggy privet hedge. The garden had been left for years and was totally overgrown. I have been doing some research about regenerating privet and beech hedges (yes, I have a rather looking sad beech hedge tooimage) and before I set to the hedge and prune back hard I want to make sure that I'll be doing the right thing. I've read that privet are very hardy and that it is possible to take it right back to a few feet from ground level and it will grow back thicker and fill out to a more lush hedge giving me a kinda 'privacy' hedge (which is what I'm after). I'm sure one of you experts can point me in the right direction. As you can see fromt he photo it's prety tall..


 Hope one of you guys can give me some advice.image



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    Hello Vonski

    Yes -you will struggle to kill a privet and it responds to hard pruning -I would chop that back to half its current height no problem-and rather satisfying to bootimage

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,402
    I agree with Geoff, but it looks like it's the other side of the barbed wire so is it yours to cut down.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,032

    Yes they cope well with quite hard pruning.

    I do a large overhanging privet tree pretty hard every other March & it comes back fine.

    They are used as hedging along a busy dual carriageway near here. They have been cut back quite severely in the past & it still looks good.

    If you're bothered & want to maintain some privacy in the meantime, say do it by a third each time over a couple of yrs. But I'd be inclined to do it all this March & accept that for a while your privacy will have gone, but the resulting thicker, denser hedge will be better for it. J.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    If you look at the photo, you'll see a distinct line about half way up. The hedge above that line is sparse, and hedge below is much denser. It looks as though the hedge has previously been trimmed to that height. The entire hedge doesn't look very old.

  • Thanks to you all for the good adviceimage, realy appreciated. I think i'll get the hedge trimmer on it this week, I was just a little 'scared' to have a hack at it and then find that I have to buy more hedging to replace it.

    Lyn, yes the hedge is mine, I put the stock fence up to keep my little terrier in and it was easier to put it this side of the hedge than the other.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    We did ours this morning, before the birds moved in. When we moved here it was so high the phone wires were caught in it. We take it back to garage eves height each year now, and it's thickening up nicely

  • Thanks nutcutlet, I didn't want to leave it too late because of the birds as well. If it's not raining tomorrow.....guess what I'll be doingimage.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    Theres a good technique if you have the access. Trailer with some boards on, pulled along in stages by car. Man on top of boards with hedge trimmer. Though the first year there was chainsaw input as well.

  • Hee hee nutcutlet you made me laugh! With other things, my OH does something sinilar with his little tractor and trailer and his son balancing along on the back with the chainsaw. image

    As far as the privet goes, we have cut ours down hard and it bounces back no problem.

  • Save some of the trimmings and use them to thicken up the hedge. Cut them back to about 2 feet 'slips' and stick them in  between the stems of your hedge. With any luck, some will root - or you could heel them into a trench until they root, then transplant.

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