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Identify hedge and how to revivr

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the middle section of my garden fence is deteriorating and possibly dead, I don't know anything about it to know whether it could be treated or whether it needs replacing. The hedge has purple red small leaves and has quite prickly branches. Sorry I am a complete gardening novice. i have only lived at my house for a year so I don't know how long it has been like this but I haven't yet seen any improvement. The only thing I've done to it is a trim a couple of times. Many thanks

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,666

    If it's prickly, it's probably Berberis. Because it's been pruned very high up and probably kept at that height for a long time, the older branches are starting to lose their branches and leaves are slowly dropping. At this time of year, you could still just cut back quite hard the old and weak stems almost down to the ground. If you like the height, then keep the rest at that height. If not, you can prune down to your desired height. The shrub needs rejuvenating to keep it fresh. I don't think it's dead, but some branches are possibly weak and need cutting out. Hopefully, this will send stems from other places to grow.

  • Many thanks for your comments. What the photo didn't show was to the left is another hedge that isn't berberus, it's an L shaped hedge with berberus just at the front/the smaller edge. Therefore I'm keen to keep it one height. You're right it does need some cutting, until this week it hasn't been trimmed for ten months. I'll have a go at trimming and see. I am cincerned  more severe as when I pulled out some weeds from the stem around the poorly section yesterday, some branches came away too and they were so brittle, it took no effort. I'll keep an eye on it now. Many thanks!

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