Privet (genus Ligustrum) takes very well to shearing. If you are
ambitious, you might even try topiary with them.
In general, a hedge should be sheared to be a little wider at the bottom
than at the top, with slightly sloping sides. This ensures that enough
light reaches the foliage at the bottom. With vertical sides, less
light reaches the bottom, resulting in die-out of the lower branches.
I'm a docent at a public garden that's a showcase of garden design
concepts from different parts of the world. The privet in the French
garden is sheared about once every second week from late spring until
middle fall and about once a month during the rest of the year. It's
kept to about 3 ft high. That's because the design concept for the
French garden is formality, with symmetry and geometry. In the French
garden, boxwood and even the star jasmine are also sheared. (In the
English garden, however, plants are not sheared; they billow irregularly.)
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.