We’ll provide tips on cutting back privet. Privet is an evergreen bush in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. You should begin pruning these at an early age to encourage healthy growth. An inherited privet hedge that was poorly pruned and is leggy at the base can also be saved with renovation pruning. Shear the face of the privet hedge from the point where the stake and string are at the top of the hedge down to the bottom of the hedge in a diagonal downward slope. First you need to remove the lower side branches from each stem, ideally using a pair of loppers (see right). In a position of dappled shade, loosen garden soil with a hand fork. Since you always leave at least an inch of new growth when you prune a privet hedge, it eventually grows taller than you want it to or are able to easily reach, making it a candidate for renovation pruning. See the best equipment to use and know the right time to prune the plants. Cut back the height of the hedge to at least 15cm (6in) below the desired height ; Cut back harder where the upper portions of the hedge are open and patchy ; Mulch and feed in spring to encourage vigorous re-growth ; Allow a full growing season for recovery ; Water well in dry spells in the first growing season following renovation; Hedge laying 7. As with young plants, expect to shear privets several times until late summer; every time they grow 6 inches is recommended. You should prune juniper bushes in early spring for best results. Learn how to trim your hedge to grow bushier, fuller, and thicker. Patricia Hamilton Reed has written professionally since 1987. It has grown quite thick and I have lost my border for planting below it. Use bypass pruners for this, cutting back each branch to a side branch. When the new growth gets to between six and 12 inches in height, remove one-half if it. Privet works well for tall privacy screens. 2 Find long stems that grow out of hedge, and snip them close to the ground. Remove them at their base with loppers. To rejuvenate a privet hedge, cut the entire hedge back to within 12 inches (30 cm.) Trusting your eye is not the best method for getting a straight hedge when trimming it. It is easy to produce a very neat hedge with this. Treat your privet hedge for pests like aphids, scale insects, whiteflies and mites by applying an appropriate insecticide or miticide. Once established, an informal privet hedge – in which individual shrubs keep their natural shape – is pruned after the plant's fragrant white flowers bloom in midspring. Hand pruners work best for branches no larger than 1/4 inch in diameter. Low-Moderate Once Established We think Ligustrum is the best Hedge we grow. Split the application by applying one half of this amount to each side of the hedge, lightly scratch into the soil surface and water it in well. Traci, The good news (which you have probably already figured out) is privet are really very tough plants. Am not sure either where to cut back first. You can trim leaf-bearing hedges with a chain saw. In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to prune a privet hedge. It has oval or lance-shaped leaves and grows dense, compact foliage. Just make clean cuts, it'll bud from any wood easily. United Kingdom . Laurel - a vigorous evergreen with large waxy leaves. Remove the lower leaves from the cuttings. Fine Gardening: Ligustrum Vulgare and Cvs. Last edited: 28 July 2017 21:48:03 Privet hedges are frequently planted to define an outdoor space or screen an unwanted view. My question is, if I hard prune my side maybe removing 12-18" will it green back up in the spring/summer? Can You Use Hedge Trimmers to Trim Knockout Roses? It is one of those shrubs that make good hedges 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall or taller. is an excellent shrub for hedges. I do really like privet as it gives good screening and sparrows like it. Shear the top of the privet along the string line, then shear the face of the hedge down to the bottom in a diagonal downward slope. Even if a formal hedge is planned, prune each stem individually while privets are young and avoid shearing until their third season. Whenever you prune any plant, use pruners that are sterilized with household antiseptic cleaner or rubbing alcohol to help prevent the spread of disease from plant to plant. But stop pruning in late summer to avoid encouraging fall growth that may be damaged by cold. Reduce the height of the plants by about one third. Then get several stakes of that height and plant them in the ground toward the center of the hedge. Afterward, cut … Loppers are designed for branches up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; a pruning saw is needed for anything larger. When Is a Good Time to Prune Nellie Stevens Hollies? Tools that are sharp and appropriate for the size of the branch are also important to prevent injury to you or the shrub. If I cut it back by about 1ft on both sides and reduce the height by 1ft, all the green growth will be cut off. Hedge trimmers can offer a greater level of accuracy for this sort of project than can a chain saw. A newly- planted privet hedge … Once you finish this, remove several large branches from the inside of each shrub to open up the center of the hedge. Once they get to the height you want trim them in a keystone shape. Privet hedge pruning involves cutting back privet shrubs. When using hedge trimmers for a formal shaped hedge, lightly and regularly shear the plant to desired shape several times throughout the growing season. Photo by Nancy Andrews. Full Sun or Some Shade – Evergreen Shrub Regular Water. This requires two trims per year but suffers from brown edges on the leaves when cut with a hedge trimmer. of the ground. Steps: 1 Use loppers to remove one-third of the older stems, so sunlight can penetrate the hedge's interior. Linda235 is quite right for icey or drought conditions, giving the hedge time to recover between cuttings. You can of course do the job by hand, but a powered hedge trimmer will almost certainly save you time and energy. It is important to shape a privet hedge so that the top is narrower than the bottom. Simply cut healthy stems about 10cm long from the parent plant on a warm autumn day. Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and other invasive privets in the genus Ligustrum are a serious problem for many homeowners, farmers, foresters, and land managers in Alabama.Privet control often seems insurmountable because of its aggressive growth, prolific root and stump sprouting, copious seed production, and widespread seed dispersal by birds and other animals. This will allow light to reach the base of the hedge and encourage new growth, ensuring that the hedge thickens. Have never really maintained a privet before either and my understanding is that they are hard as old boots but I don't want to overdo it. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Dense, compact growth habit to 6-9 ft. but can… I'm troubled by this as about a foot into the hedge (in some places) is the main stem. Privet is a great recoverer, like laurel, which can be cut back drastically to its main trunk. Formal privet hedges, which are sheared into precise shapes and not generally grown for their flowers, are sheared after they produce their initial burst of spring growth. These aggressive growers push out so much growth that when sheared as a formal hedge, they may need pruning three to four times over a typical growing season. You should only need to prune informal hedges once a year, removing one-third of the longest stems and shortening remaining new growth by one-third to one-half. Note that privets are considered invasive in many areas. You first want to determine how high you want your hedge. But if you plant a hedge, you’ll find that privet hedge pruning is a must. I have a mature privet hedge which runs north/south and is 80 yard long. National Gardening Association: Annual Growth Rate of Privet Hedge, Purdue University Extension: Pruning Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Pruning privet hedges requires some effort, but it is worth the time and energy. The very name seems to say "privacy," as if a line of these bushes could form the ideal screen for those seeking a more private setting. You’ll need to wear gloves since privet sap causes irritation and rashes. This video shows how to trim a large hedge using the equipment I have available. An inherited privet hedge that was poorly pruned and is leggy at the base can also be saved with renovation pruning. Privet is tough and easy to propagate. Deadheading the white flower clusters in late spring can prevent them from going to seed. If you are wondering when to prune privet hedges or how to prune a privet hedge, read on. Shear formal privet hedges to about 1 inch above the point where new growth begins and shape them so they're narrower at the top than at the base to allow light to reach all branches. Should I cut the sides back or lower the hedge … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. You’ll also want to keep cutting back privet to remove damaged or dead branches. The formal sentinel hedge says "privacy, please" in a manner far more civilized than a stockade fence. Use the electric hedge trimmers to shear the sides and tops of the hedge for a more formal look. It was introduced into the United States in the 1800s as an ornamental plant and later escaped from cultivation. You’ll want to undertake these pruning steps in late winter. The old saw that the best time to prune is when the shears are in your hand is true for common privet hedges (Ligustrum vulgare, USDA zones 5 through 8). How to grow a privet hedge – taking privet cuttings. Can be hard pruned. Shear the sides first. Every time your privets put on a foot of new growth, trim them back 6 inches. Naturally prolific, they will respond well to efforts to encourage them to grow fast. Privet (Ligustrum spp.) With flowering shrubs and vigorous non-flowering ones (hawthorn and privet) hedge pruning should begin as soon as the hedge has been planted. When to prune privet by trimming the outside of the hedge? This allows sunlight to reach the lower part of the hedge. Privet hedges are a popular and attractive way of delineating a property line. It is about 6ft wide & 8ft high. In order to keep these hedges looking neat and attractive, you’ll definitely need to start privet hedge pruning. Privet is incredibly tough, if you're going to hack a hedge - privet is the one. Tie a string between the stakes. Reed was editor of the "Grand Ledge Independent" weekly newspaper and a Capitol Hill reporter for the national newsletter "Corporate & Foundation Grants Alert." The first step in privet hedge pruning is to trim out crossing branches. A fixture of the suburban landscape 50 years ago, fast-growing privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium and L. amurense) remains a fine choice where conditions are right: To thrive, this deciduous shrub requires a temperate climate and a homeowner willing to wield sharp … You’ll also want to keep cutting back privet to remove damaged or dead branches. Step 5: In the case of severely overgrown hedges follow the steps above and additionally remove the top third of the plant to around 20 cm beneath the final desired height for the hedge. Hand shears may have 6- to 18-inch-long blades to make the job go more quickly, but power shears are useful for large hedges, although they give you less control. The shrubs resprout after being cut back hard. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University, is an avid gardener and volunteers at her local botanical garden. Note that since the plants now have mature roots, they'll grow much more quickly than when they were young. This type of privet hedge pruning should take place in mid-spring after the annual growth has begun. This may seem drastic for new plants, but if you don’t your hedge will always be thin and weedy at the base. The general symptoms of this privet hedge’s disease include: Slow, but steady death of the plant in the span of 2 to 3 years, costing you about a metre or two of the hedge in an annual loss; A what seems like a privet hedge spreading disease that is progressing from one end to the other. Eventually, leaves turn dark purple, or black, and fall off Young privets need pruning from the start to grow full and healthy over the long haul. Privet - a very formal, semi deciduous hedge that requires two or three trims per year. Remove them at their base with loppers. I have a section of privet hedge in my garden which is actually my neighbours. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Make the big chop in late winter to early spring to take advantage of the privet's natural growth cycle. But privet gets leggy and uneven over time. You'll often stand back and realize how wobbly the hedge really looks after doing this! Hedge trimming improves the aesthetics of the plants. Its dense thick leaves make it a great lower maintenance wall because it grows slower than many other hedges. The black, seed-filled berries are eaten by birds, which spread the seeds extensively. What Are Loppers Used For: Tips On Using Garden Loppers For Pruning, Ligustrum Care: Information On How To Grow Ligustrum Shrubs, Zone 6 Hedge Plants: Choosing Hedges For Zone 6 Gardens, Flower Gardening Basics: Tips For Flower Gardening Success, Decorating With Plants – How Plants Can Transform A Space, Winter Orchid Requirements: Growing Orchids During Winter, What Are Smilax Vines : Tips For Using Greenbrier Vines In The Garden, Chamomile Seed Info: How And When To Plant Chamomile Seeds, Aster Plant Diseases And Pests: Managing Common Problems With Asters, Indoor Lemon Balm Care – Tips For Growing Lemon Balm Indoors, Winter Planning Process – Make To-Do Lists Happen, Fake Tree For The Holidays And Why I Love it, What Is The Winter Solstice: First Day Of Winter History, Fresh-Cut Pine Tree Smell: Perfect Christmas Tree Memories. Chinese Privet, also called privet or privet hedge, is a woody, very invasive shrub native to China. Once you finish this, remove several large branches from the … Some species have become widely naturalized or invasive where introduced. How Far Back Can Japanese Boxwoods Be Safely Cut Back? Ideally cut back one side of the hedge one year, then the other side one or two years later to retain the screening effect and give the plant the best chance of recovery. Follow up within a few weeks to see if the hedge has produced any new shoots from the pruning cuts. If more than one third needs to be remove do so over two growing seasons.Step 6: If entire plants of the hedge have died back remove them and replace with new strong plants. Note: If you're forming a hedge that you want to be full with foliage to the ground, remember to keep the bottom of the hedge a … To reduce the width prune back one side at a time allowing that side to recover before pruning back the other side of the hedge.In both the cases of yew and privet both can be cut back to the original central stems and will produce new growth from dormant buds in the stem to form a new hedge on that side.Its important once the hedge is cut back to water it well through the spring and summer months and feed … You need to do this so that new lateral branches will grow. Do this in late winter. In time, you’ll want to trim and shape the outside of the privet hedge. Privet usually grows from 5 to 12 feet in height but can grow as tall as 30 feet. Pruning them back 6 to 8 inches from the ground in early spring as new growth begins promotes branching at the base of the plant and encourages root growth to help new privet shrubs establish themselves in your garden. You can completely rejuvenate them by cutting the branches down to 4-6 inches from the ground in late March. Always shear the privets so the top is slightly narrower than the bottom, to allow adequate sunlight to reach the lower branches. The hedge should be narrower at the top than the base on each side in order to allow light to touch the entire hedge face. When cutting into the stem (or ‘pleacher’), you … A neat and tidy hedge is a joy to see, but it does need work to achieve that smart finish. So how to prune a privet hedge? That is, removing damaged branches or opening the interior of the shrub should be done before spring growth begins. Can be hard pruned. A privet is a flowering plant in the genus Ligustrum.The genus contains about 50 species of erect, deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes forming small or medium-sized trees, native to Europe, north Africa, Asia, many introduced and naturalised in Australasia, where only one species extends as a native into Queensland. A privet hedge running along a property border is a classic look. How to Get a Straight Line when Trimming a Hedge. They bounce right back after pruning and seem to grow back faster and thicker than before. The first step in privet hedge pruning is to trim out crossing branches. To renovate or rejuvenate a privet, cut the entire plant down to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground and begin the training phase again, snipping new growth back by half every 12 inches to promote a full, lush plant. Hard pruning is best done at the end of winter so you’re not looking at an unsightly hedge for too long, or disturbing nesting birds. Sign up for our newsletter. Agree with Fairy, keep it watered & even a sprinkling of Fish, Blood & Bone/liquid seaweed will do it no harm if you're apprehensive. The best time to start your privet-pruning regimen is based on the age of the plants. Property Line ft. but can… privet hedges are a popular and attractive, you ’ ll find that hedge! 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