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When best to remove a leylandii hedge?

Hi folks!

I want to remove a nasty 10ft heigh leylandii hedge at the bottom of my garden and was wondering what is the best time of year to do it? I want to cause as little bother to the birds as possible. What's the earliest I could remove it, avoiding upsetting any nests?

I'm thinking of replacing it with some hawthorn, elder and a rowan tree (which had started to grow in my guttering and is now doing well in a pot) with a rambling/dog rose growing through the whole thing. Anything else I should be thinking of adding for the local wildlife?

All suggestions welcome.





  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Have a good look and see if there are any nests, its going to take a while to get them out anyway, may be the disturbance will be less if its done bit by bit? image
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 67,484

    I grew a wildlife hedge consisting of hawthorn, elder and hazel with wild rose and honeysuckle growing through it - fantastic for wildlife.

    I think you could take the Leylandii out from August onwards, that way even very late nests will have fledged.  

    When we took a similar hedge out we were unaware that it had provided hibernation cover for hedgehogs - we've since replaced the dry shade with more undergrowth and log piles as well as hedgehog houses.  

    Just thought I'd mention it. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Alan4711Alan4711 LincolnshirePosts: 1,643

    March 1st to end of July is recommended by Natural England as a nesting time and suggest no hedge cutting during this time. lots of info on the net..

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Farmers aren't allowed to cut hedges till the end of July, by law as disturbing nesting birds of any sort is a criminal offence. End of July is the best time as few if any nests will be occupied by then.

  • Very little actually nests in leylandii, the chap who removed ours said that apart from the odd pigeon, he never finds anything in them!

  • NetfellaNetfella Posts: 54
    Thanks guys. I'll wait until august then. Better to be safe than sorry. I've got quite a pile of logs in my wildlife garden from a previous attempt at clearing an old laurel last year so hopefully the hedgehogs won't be too annoyed. I also have a hogitat hedgehog house nearby. I might put in a hazel as well, sounds a good idea and free nuts too! image
  • Well, you will certainly get a good crop of squirrels if you do!


  • NetfellaNetfella Posts: 54
    Free squirrels? Even better! image
  • This isn't facebook, I can't click like! image

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    the best way to remove leylandii I've found is in autumn after some heavy rain wrap a very sturdy chain around the bottom of the plant (about a foot off the ground)

    Then attach the other end to a very powerful machine (a JCB is great although other tractors may work) and then slowly back away from the hedge.

    works well as long as there aren't any fences/power cables/buildings in the way!image

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