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Privet Hedge - Neighbour severing roots


I wonder if anyone can help?  We have a small, narrow and  intertwinnend shared privet hedge with our neighbour.  About 30 years old.  Our side has a drive and 7 privet plants and they have 7 privets on their side (all cojoined to form one joint hedge).  They have told us they they are going to take their hedges up and build a brick wall.  To do this they have to severe our roots.(Our root system is mainly their side since we had our drive built).  Would ours survive considering they would be hemmed in by a wall/driveway and the roots would have been severed?  Or should we just replant and not take a chance (if the privets died it would be near impossible to dig them out once the wall has been built)?

Thank you for your help, its much appreciated!


  • Privets have mostly shallow, fibrous roots with some taproots that grow sideways and go down a couple of feet. The roots may be interwined but theirs plants can be twisted and pulled out (literally) without destroying your hedge. It may be worthwhile helping them on the removal process to ensure yours aren't needlessly destroyed. If they dig through/sever your roots, it may be game-over.

    Privets are pretty hardy and as long as the roots aren't sliced into oblivion, your hedge may have a goodn chance  of survival. After the deed is done, I would recommend giving it a liquid feed and ensure it's kept well-watered daily for a few weeks (don't soak it for hours though) to give it a better chance to form new roots.

  • 1busybee1busybee Posts: 3

    Thank you Mowtastic.  You have been very helpful.  I wasn't sure which way to turn!

  • mushermusher Posts: 389

    They'll take quite a lot of stick. Perhaps give them a good feed before the work Begin's

  • 1busybee1busybee Posts: 3

    Thanks Musher, I went out today and fed and watered them.  I thought the same, make them strong for what's to come - just hope they'll survive.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027

    If the neighbour is putting a concrete footing in for the wall (I'm assuming that's the case) you might want to put a barrier in before that happens - a length of heavy duty plastic or similar. That will help protect the roots too.

    Privet's pretty tough, so I'm sure yours will survive well enough. Plenty of water!

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 480

    Privet hedges.  Huh!  I grew up in a town on the outskirts of Liverpool in the 70s and 80s and practically every garden (OK, probably not that many, but there was an awful awful lot) had a privet hedge in the front and back dividing the gardens.  Some privet hedges were over 12 feet tall where the homeowner wanted to completely block themselves away from everybody else.  To me, the privet hedge seemed ubiquitous with the town.  I don't live in that town anymore and I hardly ever see them anywhere else in the country.  Don't know whether that makes me happy or sad.  Its a good hedge though for privacy and probably better than a laurel or leylandii as can take a lot of abuse.  Always remember thinking that the flowers (when it was allowed to flower that is) smelt awful.

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