I want to cut down a privet hedge from 4 ft high and 3 ft wide
to 2 ft high and 2 ft wide.
I wear very strong glasses that make any straight line curved,
so I want to set up a framework or guide to make sure I
make a neat job with a horizontal top. Any ideas welcomed.
Being on benefits I can't employ anyone to do it.
Bloke over the road runs a mower over his. Not good for cutting them
down massively but my only suggestion for that is to not let me have a
go as I'm very good at sweeping curves.
You could spray the hedge and then cut it off...
Our hedges are much too thick on the separator bit but the front ones
have been battered by the horrid youths who think its fun to run and
push each other through it.
Have been tempted to put some reinforcing in the hedge to protect it
but suspect large metal spikes might get me into trouble.
Ah fetch it yourself if you can't wait for delivery
This is good advice. I had a problem, being the corner plot on a
large town estate, with the local young people (bless 'em) using the
Road Sign as a bar (elbow height, for some reason), and my garden as
the place to put the empties for disposal.
I took cuttings of a Pyracantha and backed up said sign with them. In
a year the problem ended for good. It also improved the look of the
garden in winter with the red berries which attracted all sorts of
It's only downside is that one needs strong leather gloves when pruning.
I used to suffer that, before I had a cataract done on my left eye. Its
focus point was about 1 to 1 and a half inches from it, due to the
change in shape of the eyeball and took away all perception of straight
lines when wearing glasses.
The method I would use is stretch a line about 3 inches above your
intended cut line and trim, using this as a guide. Lower the line to the
final level and step back and look where you have to lower the cut line
and trim carefully' taking a step back ever so often. As far as the
width goes, who will notice?
Keep the line away from any chance of touching it with the hedge trimmer
and everything should be OK if you can stretch it tight. Posts with guys
that prevent the guide from drooping should work fine.
On the other hand...
Take the trimmer and hold it at what height you want to end up with and
hold it to your body and walk along the hedge. Even if you do not cut
the full width of the hedge, you still have a guide as to where to cut.
If you are not using an electric trimmer, take a piece of wood, the same
height as you want to trim and use secatures (sp) to cut the thicker
branches. You will not be far out. Arm rests on wood, forearm is
horizontal and snip snip till you get to the end.
I don't think it will work the way you want it to, at least not
immediately... when you cut it at 3 feet high, there will be big chunks
'bitten' out of the result where branches which originally grew
downwards are now missing: I would think it will eventually grow back to
a nice flat top again, but it will take a couple of growing seasons or so.
Indeed. Cut it about 6" smaller han final size you want, and don't be
prissy, then let it grow back 8" and DO get prissy, but that is next
Most hedges will get woody and have large lumps of stem sticking out if
you do not occasionally cut them back beyond what you want, and let the
fine growth make up the difference.
You need to leave the hedge with enough leaves to keep it growing, which
means you should only cut the top or one of the two sides back at a time.
You then wait for that to grow back green before tackling one of the other
faces. It is just about possible to do that in one season, if you start
early but I wouldn't start it at this time of year.
Depends entirely on the hedge.
We felled a 50 ft sycamore, and now its a sycamore hedge. Not a leaf was
left on it.
Done the same with hawthorn: Down to a 2ft stump and wait for suckers.
Ive seen bare poles of Laurel and holly regenerate the same way.
I've seen a 40ft willow tree hat was the result of using a willow branch
as a fence post.
We had privet which had bolted up to 20ft high in places (due to
previous owners not trimming it), looking more like saplings than a
hedge. After some drastic treatment with a tree saw we were amazed
that in about 8-10 weeks we started to get a really thick bushy privet
back; its amazing stuff for recovering into a hedge.
I'd agree with other posters, cut it back a good 6 inches (or more)
than you want it to finally end up, so that next time round you are
just trimming the young stems and leaves to get it into a nice shape.
I concur - we have a Privet hedge which I have pruned gently about twice
a year to keep it to a sensible height - I am now finding that
individual plant are dying off (mainly from one end) and the hedge is
getting rather thin.
water and feed it and cut the bad plants well back.
If they don't make it plant new ones.
Hedges have life cycles too..mine are constantly need to be cleared of
this and that, cut back, replanted..etc.
Only yew and beech and hornbeam seem to last forever,.
Over 40 years ago, I pruned a privet hedge down from circa 6' to 18" in
one fell swoop to align with a low boundary garden wall creating a more
open aspect for the fruit and veg. patch to the northern side. Took a
few years to come back to a reasonable shape but for the last twenty x
years has been the subject of topiary - a steam engine pulling
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