Newbie questions about pruning privet hedge

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Hi folks - first-time poster here with some pretty simple questions I'm sure, so please be kind!
I grew up in a hot and dry climate and so I'm pretty clueless when it comes to caring for and hedges.
At the place where my front garden where it meets the pavement, I planted a row of privet hedge plants last September. They are spaced out about 18 inches apart and are about five feet tall and still quite young, but have begun to sprout lots of little leaves over the past few weeks (of course).
As they have now started to grow, I have some questions about how to prune the plants so that they grow into the shape I want. Can you help me?
I want the plants to grow about 6-8 inches taller than they are now, and I also want them to "flesh out" a bit more. Little sprouts are starting to stick up. Should I trim them now or should I let them grow more?
How often should I trim privet hedge during the growing season?
Should I trim the sides as well?
Many thanks for your help and advice!
--
ajax


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On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 21:12:46 +0000, ajax

I will assume privet means you have Chinese privet. These plants, if it's what yo have, will want to grow 10 feet wide by 15 feet tall. You can keep them smaller, but it may take a lot of work to keep them as smalll as you want.

As often as necessary to keep them the size and shape you want.

No, not if you want them to knit together, but if they are planted too close (which they are, sorry to say) they will start to grow into each other. Do trim the fronts to keep them from overcoming your walkway.
When you prune or shape hedges and remove the growing tips, you are breaking what's known as the apical dominance. When you do this, you are forcing branching to occur lower on the plant, making it more bushy than normal.
I have Chinese privet and they are mature at 20 feet wide by 18 feet tall. I don't hedge them up, they are the natural shape. I will eventually have to remove them. They are beautiful shrubs and I have variegated foliage privets, but they are just not a good idea where I live in Texas. They do spread around by seed.
I hope you have info now.

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Good question. pruning information here:
Many tree problems are associated with the following: They are Case Sensitive.
Pruning http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_pruning
Some people just use hedge trimmers. Thought you might desire targeted information.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Consulting Forester & Tree Expert www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.

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Privet is not a tree.
On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 20:49:48 -0400, "symplastless"

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...and the OP does not have a "problem". Either I watched too many Sopranos episodes, or someone needs to take the resident tree shmexpert out behind a dumpster for a tuneup, using a baseball bat.

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You sound like a violent person or a criminal. Maybe a career criminal.
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Joe
Maybe you could explain at least five major differences between the way a woody plant other than a tree compartmentalizes wounds.
Or maybe even explain five "anatomy" difference between a woody root of a woody plant and the woody stem of a woody plant.
About threatening me with a baseball bat - threats of violence may not be in your best interest. is that what you really desire?
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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At the moment, yes. And I doubt anyone in this newsgroup would mind if I worked over your fingers first.
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Joe
What is your real name? Do you think you are hiding? I have given your comment on which I assume you are suggesting to people on this list to use a baseball bat on me, some extended thought. You now have 101% of my attention. I am not a person that takes threats and such suggestions lightly. I do believe in non-violent direct action. I now consider you as a threat. Now lets see how a person responds when threatened. Trees always respond when threatened. They survive for many many years, many longer than humans under the right condition, as a sugar maple that can have parenchyma cells live for up to 150 years if things go right.
You have chosen to take this news group to a higher level. One of threats of violence and bodily harm. It was your decision. A poor one if you ask me.
Don't you think I should survive like a tree and respond? If not please explain why not. You have 3 days or I will turn this over to a higher power, meaning a higher power than you.
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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On Fri, 21 Mar 2008 23:32:17 -0400, "symplastless"

I think it would behoove us to stop pulling the cuckoo chain on the clock. It's rather annoying with its bellows and that door slamming can wake me up rooms away. I think I'll sell the cuckoo at the yard sale.
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wrote:

But, it's fun to pull his chain and see him get nuttier and nuttier in such a short period of time. He could have a real ball in another newsgroup, talk.politics.guns.
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wrote:

That does seem to be the collection point for nut jobs.
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wrote:

It's astounding, really. They vote and they reproduce.
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 22:12:15 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

...and they are Christianists too! Kill kill kill, but hands off the embryos. Geesh, this country is doomed.
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Jangchub
What is your specialty? What do you consider yourself to be?
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 20:21:13 -0400, "symplastless"

I am a suffering sentient being who sees Ultimate Reality as it is and strive to see emptiness directly. I am a Buddhist practitioner with flaws and make many mistakes. I strongly advise anyone reading anything I say to second check it up and get another opinion. I do not have the defining last word on any subject. However, when I worked before becoming disabled I was the manager of a specialty garden center and greenhouse operation which sold plants grows specifically for the Brooklyn Botanica Gardens as well as The New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, NY. My specialty was herbs which I grew from cuttings. I attended SUNY Farmingdale for Greenhouse Management. I am just a simple person with an opinion like every other person I know. One day, I hope to NOT have any opinion and my effort toward living in the perfection of wisdom.
And you?
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wrote:

I had no idea of your experience. I respect that. Your experience in green house plants is something I admire. I am going to try a veggie garden this year. My part is getting the soil (organic mushroom soil) and leaf compost to help keep down unwanted plants of ones that I do not understand. The garden will pretty much be new to me. I now know a person to contact regarding herbs and green houses. I strongly advise that no one believe it because I say it but because they see it for themselves. I had no clue as to who you were or your background. Please forgive me for any statements I have made that might have offended you.
As far as me - an letter addressed to Don Staples: I make decisions based on tree biology when possible regarding forest health or tree farm health. You refer to that as a fraud and your contribution to forest health? I understand that you have a background in wood products, yet that seems limited when you made comments on the use of a Shigometer to detect the quality of wood. from your website you seem to make decisions based on board foot ant not tree biology. Your efforts seem to be geared towards tree farming and not forest health management. When you claim to be a forester that seems to be miss leading and somewhat fraud like, I.e., if you must insist on uncovering fraud. not that I don't respect your tree farming efforts to provide needed wood products for humans. I just claim that tree biology needs to be considered when managing trees and their associates in tree farming (commercial sale of wood from once fertile forest). You call that a fraud and a con artist? I would not feel comfortable calling you that, but then seldom does progress come from comfort. If I was involved with a decision making process in tree farming projects I would insist that other people be involved in the process, e.g., including but not limited too, wildlife biologist, soil scientist, water ecologist as well as my understanding of tree biology. I.e., only when the person or persons tree farming their single stand or group of trees under one or more ownership desires to take tree biology into consideration. SHIGOMETRY would be a very useful tool for someone that understands tree anatomy such as the difference between sapwood trees and heartwood forming trees, the difference between sapwood and heartwood, the difference in electrical resistance of discolored or color altered wood from a wound or injury from sapwood or heartwood. Exposing the flaws in the heartrot concept would be of some value. There is just so much more than board feet to take into consideration when tree farming. I am surely not the only person who has an understanding of tree biology even though I have studied tree biology more than most and not as much as some Studying your website Don Staples, it appears that you are very much into tree farming with a background in wood products which is limited due to the lack of understanding of tree anatomy. When we start with a 2x4 and try to understand wood decay, it becomes very confusing. Many properties of wood products is determined when the product was part of the growing and ever changing tree. E. g., wood that was chemically altered from a wound or injury when it was part of a tree system (redundant, a tree is a system) is the first place carpenter ants and termites will go when it is made into a wood product. The quality of the wood can be detected quickly and with accuracy with a thorough understanding of tree anatomy and the use of a Shigometer. Wood anatomy is different than tree anatomy which I do not expect you to understand and I do expect you to argue that fact out of ignorance. That's tree farming and wood products in a nut shell.
Forest health is another topic. With limited to little to no understanding of tree biology it is hard to understand the unique functions and processes of a forest. Cutting the wood out of a forest at this date and time is something that is better left to tree farming and tree farms which I addressed in the latter paragraph. Logging - Briefly, "with respect." - It has been published that logging is removing or cutting out present and future coarse woody debris from a forest, woods or a field. Logging is removing, probably the single most, present and future, important habitat and potential niche for the survival of organisms in drastically altered systems. ...dying and symplastless wood provides one of the two or three greatest resources for animal species in a forest. ..if fallen timber and slightly decayed trees are removed the whole system is gravely impoverished of perhaps more than a fifth of its fauna. Logging is removing future reservoirs and storehouse of nutrients as well as elements for fauna and flora. In respect, to such projects as the "Burn and Clearcut Project"" - Logging is the killing of trees. Logging is removal of most of the stem of one of the largest, longest lived contributors to the once fertile forest health. the wood out of a once fertile forest is not in the interest in forest health. A thorough understanding of the relationship between trees and their associates in a forest is the backbone of legislature in the USA to end commercial logging or federal public land and allow these tracts of land to be the forest they were supposed to be when called National Forest, etc. My role as the consulting forester which I clearly define in my dictionary, is to contribute in writing comments based on my understanding of tree biology (defined in my dictionary) backed by peer reviewed published data in refereed journals when possible, regarding the importance of such legislature with respect to forest health. The bill takes steps to help communities and displaced loggers.
I have great respect for Don Staples and his tree farming business and website which explains just what he does and so forth. I do think due to his lack of understanding of tree biology and tree anatomy he would be best described as a consulting tree farmer. I still believe he should bring in other people specializing in tree biology and wildlife and so on. Logging is hard work, which I do not think Don Staples actually picks up a chain saw, which I have learned by working for a logger. As well as the suggested 4 year course to in wood products to be a tree farmer I would add that a degree in hemp products would serve well. Hemp farming could provide much required material for an ever growing industry. If you do not understand and use a SHIGOMETER in wood product production you are not doing all you can do to provide high quality products. I do have a great understanding of wood products in that area due to my understanding of tree anatomy. I am working on a project that addresses goals of tree farms and one on forestry (management of forest) goals, their things in common and things not. E.g., a fertile forest could be the site of optimum fertility levels for trees, a tree farm would not.
When either I am consulting on tree farming or forests, some of my foundations starts with these docs: Its a start.
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/index.html
Tree Farming and Machine Wounds
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/HTMLFILES/machine_wounds_shigo.html
Wood Products Defects:
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/HTMLFILES/defects_shigo.html
Some of my comments on the latter can be found here http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/SOUND/index.html
Closing Statement:
What's important is that tree biology is considered when making decisions on forest health. Trees have many associates that greatly depend on healthy systems for survival. History shows that in St. Louis - USA, the Mississippi Valley Laboratory was established in 1899. The director at that time was Dr. Herman von Schrenk. Studies on wood decay and discoloration (woundwood) were done mostly. In time, the studies drifted toward wood products. In 1907 the lab was discontinued and the Forest Products Laboratory at Madison, Wisconsin took over. The major focus of the lab was on wood products decay - "Tree biology never had a chance". For more see TREE PITHY POINTS by Alex L. Shigo. Too often decisions in tree farming and on tree farms are based on board foot rather than management based on an understanding of the ecological stages of trees and their associates. Too often over looking trees and associates requirements. Sure you can claim I am not a forester, but first define what you mean when "you" say "forester". I have in my dictionary. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/C/consulting_forester.html I do not claim to be anything else. When commercial interest dictates the method and treatments of National Forest, associates too often suffer. I see it in urban wood management. The biggest problem, some say, is getting the wood out fast enough and without criticism. Is that what you mean when "you" say "forester"? Surely I have much more to learn then I have learned regarding the ecological stages of trees and their associates and the relationship between the two. A once fertile forest does more than just function as a supply of wood for humans. Surely man would benefit by legalizing commercial hemp and the products it can produce. It is said that George Washington's first flag was made of hemp. The Constitution was written on hemp. Sure I am a consumer. Toilet paper is a requirement to me. We need to separate the forest from the tree farms. Tree farmers need help and also would benefit by an understanding of tree biology in managing their non-renewable natural resource. A good understanding of cellulose and the role it plays on healthy soils "should" be of interest to tree farmers. Its sad when it is not. Just my crazy thoughts. Surely no one on this list endorses me or my thoughts. But they are mine and not theirs. That's what makes me unique. Imagine a world where all pathogens went away! Ignorance of tree biology still remains a serious problem for trees and their associates worldwide. We are an associate, friend or foe. I repeat, by your definition I am not a forester. Please define what one is in your words. And I religiously say " don't believe anything because I said it" "believe it because you see it for yourself". When payment for making a tree safe, in a once fertile forest, is the harvest of the wood, its a bad situation. Rather than making a snag which could be safe for many years, housing many flying squirrels - they are displaced by removing the wood. The professional who would make the snag should be well paid for that skill and risk as well as the ground person or persons. Thus not having to rely on the wood for payment. It hurts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again, just my crazy thoughts! An interesting book, if you have not read it, is A NEW TREE BIOLOGY. It comes with its own dictionary. It should be at your local library. The book is listed at www.shigoandtrees.com. Too many people want to be made robots. Training without education makes robots. Education without training makes waste. Waste is an human term for inefficient management of substance or thing. A forest knows no waste. Sorry about by ignorance in the difference between a tree farmer, a tree farm and a forester and a forest. Enough of my thoughts, what're yours?
One more thing to take into consideration. My professor who was the chief scientist in a pioneering expedition into tree decay with the US Forest Service was, including but not limited too, a tree biologist, a mycologist, and ecologist, a forest researcher, a teacher, a genus with trees and a musician left us with his last TREE PITHY POINT #950 and I quote "Ignorance of tree biology has been, and still is, the major cause of tree problems worldwide." Knowing the man very well I would say that that includes tree farms as well as forest. Not to forget he was a wood products specialist, starting with the tree to understand decay, the succession of microorganism, termites, ants and much more with respect to wood products.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Consulting Tree Biologist with respect to forest and / or tree farms.
http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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Don Staples
Have a great Easter.
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Your time is clicking away. BTW, did you know every hair on your head is counted? Cookoo!!! OK!
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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What the hell are you talking about, you burnout???
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