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  • FIRST POST
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 3rd Oct 17, 6:56 PM
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    Kim kim
    Pruning to stunt growth - when?
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:56 PM
    Pruning to stunt growth - when? 3rd Oct 17 at 6:56 PM
    I have about 100 foot of hedge between my neighbour & I in the back and about 20 foot in the front.
    It's my neighbours hedge, it's high, 7-8 foot.
    I get someone in every year to cut it back to the boundary.
    As you can imagine it's quite a beast of a hedge, when is the best time to cut it back once a year in order to stunt/minimise regrowth?
    It very quickly grows back & grows over my pathway.
    I don't really want to get someone in twice a year, if rather have it cut back when it's the best month to not encourage regrowth.
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 3rd Oct 17, 8:28 PM
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    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:28 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:28 PM
    It would be helpful to know what kind of hedge it is, because some hedges, like privet, can be cut back brutally, without danger, whereas some don't recover so easily.

    Regardless of anything else, with an established hedge you are limited to cut in the season when birds aren't nesting, which is from the beginning September to the end of March.

    Cutting hedges stimulates growth, but growth doesn't happen anyway below about 8c, so doing it in the autumn won't result in a lot of action till spring. It's probably best to leave pruning till the other side of potentially cold weather in January and February anyway, as old growth offers the plant and some insects a little protection from damaging frosts.

    So, if it's privet, you can get your gardener to give it a really big haircut, way back into the old wood, but if it's something that doesn't grow back from old wood, like leylandii, that option isn't open.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 3rd Oct 17, 8:36 PM
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    sheramber
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:36 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:36 PM
    What kind of hedge is it? Different plants should be trimmed at different times. Butt he nature of a hedge is ti grow.

    From the RSPB
    We recommend cutting hedges and trees is avoided between March and August as this is the main breeding season for nesting birds.

    It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 3rd Oct 17, 8:40 PM
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    Kim kim
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:40 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:40 PM
    I think it's a privet, it's a regular type of hedge.
    There is no fear of me killing it!
    It's been pruned back to the boundaries yesterday & it's still easily between 3 & 4 foot deep. It's a monster!
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 3rd Oct 17, 10:08 PM
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    glasgowdan
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:08 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:08 PM
    Take advice on not trimming March to September with a bucket of salt. In your shoes I would give it a hard trim in July...it will be more than halfway through it's annual growth and this is the time most likely to keep it as neat as possible with a single trim in the year.

    It's not illegal to trim hedges in summer. As long as your gardener doesn't deliberately disturb nests if they see any.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 4th Oct 17, 5:22 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:22 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 5:22 AM
    Dan is a gardener and makes money from cutting hedges, while I'm a smallholder and it costs me money to cut mine, so it's hardly surprising that we see this differently!

    I cannot have my hedges cut outside the times stated, because no one with the equipment would do it. The only people who cut roadside hedges here between April and September are the councils, who seem to use an especially quiet machine which just trims soft growth.....and that's only where necessary, mainly along the bus routes.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 4th Oct 17, 6:11 AM
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    Kim kim
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:11 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 6:11 AM
    Take advice on not trimming March to September with a bucket of salt. In your shoes I would give it a hard trim in July...it will be more than halfway through it's annual growth and this is the time most likely to keep it as neat as possible with a single trim in the year.

    It's not illegal to trim hedges in summer. As long as your gardener doesn't deliberately disturb nests if they see any.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    July it is then. I've never seen nests in it. But it's a rural ish area & there is a bridal path at the bottom of my garden with wild untouched hedges in a much more hidden & private area, so I would imagine any birds would choose those first.
    I've always gone for the end of the growing season as then it was neat & tidy for autumn & winter & a bit of spring, I figured the effects lasted well, but it worried me as I kept reading "prune for growth"!!! The last thing I want is to encourage it!! It's like the sleeping beauty hedge, it's a battle to stop it overtaking my garden path & garden!!
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 4th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
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    glasgowdan
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    Absolutely Dave, but you said
    with an established hedge you are limited to cut in the season when birds aren't nesting,
    which is wrong.

    My own hedge at home gets a trim in April/May then I leave it until August/September as privet bloom is one of my favourite things about a garden! I've around 300ft of privet at 6ft high so I'd be happy doing it once a year, but then it only takes me an hour to trim so not too bad.

    OP I would consider asking for a second quote to do the work.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 4th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
    The OP wanted to get the maximum out of one cut a year.

    I would suggest that very hard cutting-back isn't best done in the height of summer, when it doesn't look great and does more damage to wildlife

    Trimming is somewhat different.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 5th Oct 17, 6:30 AM
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    getmore4less
    It's my neighbours hedge, it's high, 7-8 foot.
    ....
    It's been pruned back to the boundaries yesterday & it's still easily between 3 & 4 foot deep


    With permission can you cut back further say another foot and then do some lighter trims yourself to keep it in check.
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 5th Oct 17, 11:10 PM
    • 2,052 Posts
    • 3,112 Thanks
    Kim kim
    It's my neighbours hedge, it's high, 7-8 foot.
    ....
    It's been pruned back to the boundaries yesterday & it's still easily between 3 & 4 foot deep


    With permission can you cut back further say another foot and then do some lighter trims yourself to keep it in check.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    I think that would be a bit cheeky to ask.
    It's too much for me anyway, it's nearly 8 foot, and both of them together are about 120 foot.

    I also have hedges in the front, but they are only about 4 foot & not enormous.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 6th Oct 17, 9:35 AM
    • 23,344 Posts
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    Davesnave
    It's my neighbours hedge, it's high, 7-8 foot.
    ....
    It's been pruned back to the boundaries yesterday & it's still easily between 3 & 4 foot deep


    With permission can you cut back further say another foot and then do some lighter trims yourself to keep it in check.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    This is what I was suggesting, rather than trimming.

    I once had a 6' deep privet hedge where I needed to form a pathway to a new gate. It was my hedge, so I took it back to the centre and it was only allowed to re-grow about 18" on our side after that. Any wider and it would have interfered with the new path. It stayed the same on the neighbour's side, so didn't affect them.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 7th Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    • 2,052 Posts
    • 3,112 Thanks
    Kim kim
    This is what I was suggesting, rather than trimming.

    I once had a 6' deep privet hedge where I needed to form a pathway to a new gate. It was my hedge, so I took it back to the centre and it was only allowed to re-grow about 18" on our side after that. Any wider and it would have interfered with the new path. It stayed the same on the neighbour's side, so didn't affect them.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    IM sorry I don’t understand? Are you suggesting some sort of permanent solution?
    Surely hedges just keep growing?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Oct 17, 11:49 PM
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    Davesnave
    IM sorry I don’t understand? Are you suggesting some sort of permanent solution?
    Surely hedges just keep growing?
    Originally posted by Kim kim
    No, nothing's permanent and the hedge will still grow, but what grows will be soft and more controllable.

    In my first reply, I was suggesting that privet could be cut back brutally, not just a year's growth trimmed. That would mean removing some large stems altogether and cutting others back till they are just long sticks, so I'm talking loppers and saws here, not a hedge trimmer. The hedge will look bare and tatty for a while, but it will soon recover.

    On my hedge, I probably got rid of 2' of the 3' that was on my side, but I left the neighbour's side as it was. Because I'd reduced the width, I remember reducing the height too. That might be trickier for you if it's not your hedge.

    Anyway, the RHS go into renovating hedges in more detail:

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=398

    An alternative to yearly cutting is erecting a fence in front of the cut-back hedge. I did that on another side of the garden and it worked OK.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 07-10-2017 at 11:51 PM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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