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. Allow the privet hedge to regrow throughout the first season, shaping the new growth lightly in the autumn of that year to train it into the desired shape. How to Care for Otto Luyken Laurel Plants, How to Cut Back Variegated Chinese Privet, Arizona Cooperative Extension: Pruning Hedges, University of Illinois Extension: Ask Extension, North Carolina State University: Pruning Shrubs, How to Trim Lilac, Rose of Sharon and Forsythia Bushes, How to Prune Evergreen Shrubs and Juniper Trees. This can be done without focusing a … California hedges typically grow for about 10 to 15 feet high and wide. They are typically used in large quantities to create a privacy screen that is absolutely unparalleled. It's a tough, old-fashioned plant that's been around forever. The privet genus (Ligustrum spp.) This will ensure that the bottom of the hedge gets enough light and will prevent leaf-drop. Privet also tolerates urban pollution and is somewhat salt-tolerant. Privet Hedge Care. For optimal growth and appearance, prune privet hedges twice a year. Shape the privet hedge again in the autumn to keep the privet hedge growing in the shape you desire. However, a hedge trimmer is useful for cutting away the bulk of a bush at the start of a project and for trimming new growth on large bushes. Golden privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium ‘Aureum’) is another type with golden variegation in the leaves. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. Green Privet or Ligustrum Ovalifolium (Oval Leaved Privet) is an excellent choice for a formal hedge and they also make super topiary. Cut back another third of the branches the following spring if you chose to prune less drastically following the same method described in Step two. If you cut the entire privet hedge to the ground, shape the new growth with the pruning shears in the spring. Privet hedges have long been favoured as a boundary hedge as they are easy to grow, easy to maintain and very reliable. When To Prune Ligustrum Light pruning of Ligustrum to remove a stray or damaged branch can be performed any time of year. consists of approximately 40 species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees, many of which are cultivated as hedges and topiaries. Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Do not attempt to prune your privet into its final desired shaped and size during its first growing season: this will cause the plant to have a weak, unsteady base. We've been planting a hedge at the Crossroads. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Allow the privet hedge to regrow throughout the first season, shaping the new growth lightly in the autumn of that year to train it into the desired shape. Known for their oval-shaped leaves that are pale green when young, as the green privet hedges become more mature, the leaves darken as they age. For example, Ibolium privet (Ligustrum x ibolium) grows in zones 4 to 8 while Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum) ranges from zone 7b to 10a. Privets are one of the most common shrubs used to create hedges and belong to the genus Ligustrum. Privet grows more quickly than boxwood shrubs and tolerate heavy pruning and shaping, hence making it an attractive planting as a hedge. You might not think that precise, detailed hedge-shaping would require a powered hedge trimmer. Privet hedges grow quickly and forgive overzealous clipping. Privets generally look their best when shaped with a wide base and a rounded or slightly pointed top. A slightly pointed or rounded shaped with a wide base is optimal, as this mimics the shrub's natural shape and allows for light to reach the lower branches. For a less-drastic pruning, cut one-third of the branches back to this level (leaving two-thirds standing). It will take approximately five years of growth to completely rejuvenate a privet hedge into a more restrained shape and size. Ligustrum tolerates a variety of soil types, and competes extremely well with native species. Renovation may rejuvenate an old hedge. For a less-drastic pruning, cut one-third of the branches back to this level (leaving two-thirds standing). The benefits of growing a Privet hedge. Privet hedges are a great way to decorate your garden and can provide structure to any landscape. Privets respond very well to heavy shaping and pruning, and are valued additionally for their tolerance of neglect and less than ideal growing conditions. These plants can be evergreen, semi-evergreen, or deciduous depending on where you live and the variety you choose. Privets can withstand heavy shearing, so shaping and controlling their size is easy. Examine the privet hedge as you are cutting it back. Privet hedging is popular for its dense foliage that not only offers privacy, but also protects against pollution when grown as a formal hedge, making it perfect for urban or suburban gardens. Privet is tough as old boots and can definitely tolerate hard pruning. When to prune hedges. Shape the hedges at the start of the second growing season. When shaping your established privet hedge aim to have slightly sloping sides with the top of the hedge being the narrowest. The shape of the top of the hedge is variable, but a hedge with a pointed or rounded top will be less vulnerable to snow damage. If you are rejuvenating a privet hedge you cut to the ground, shape the new growth lightly with the pruning shears. A privet hedge running along a property border is a classic look. Prune your privet hedge annually in the early fall to control its size and shape or to remove any discolored, damaged or dead branches or foliage. If one side of the hedge is receiving more sun than the other, this may cause an imbalance in color and vitality. Tree shaping (also known by several other alternative names) uses living trees and other woody plants as the medium to create structures and art. Review the height of the plants, and trim them down to half their current size. Timing of pruning should take into account the potential for nesting birds (see 'Problems' section below). North Carolina State University recommends severe pruning for the first two years to cause privet to branch out into a bushy, strong form. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Put simply, the more you trim your privet hedge, the thicker and denser it becomes. Excellent plant for hedges or screens or for shaping into small trees. Use your hand shears to prune away dead, diseased or broken branches throughout the year. Privet hedges are a popular and attractive way of delineating a property line. Examine the privet hedge as you are cutting it back. Formal privacy hedge trees need to be sheared and shaped every year to look neat and tidy and to form a “perfect” hedge. In caliche soil or where Texas root rot prevails, grow it in containers. Hand pruners are helpful for the pruning tips above. We debated about what type of plant we would use, but we settled on waxleaf ligustrum. Ligustrum hedging is valued for its ability to be clipped into a range of different … Snow damage is caused by the weight of accumul… With legislation in place concerning the height of evergreen hedges, renovation may be advisable where hedges have got out of hand. This versatile evergreen hedge plant is a popular border plant for both formal and informal gardens, or you can use taller varieties to create a dense living wall to block out undesirable views. If you discover any diseased or damaged hedges, dig them out and discard them. This avoids the hedge self-shading and the lower braches receiving little to no light creating dead patches in the lower parts of the hedge. Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. Replace these diseased hedges with new privet hedges. Trim the privet hedge so that the bottom of the hedge is wider than the top; the top of the hedge can be either flat or rounded, depending on your preference. Different varieties thrive in different U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. Formative pruning: In winter, just after planting, and for the first two years after planting ; Maintenance pruning: Each summer Many of the tools for shaping shrubs are tools that you would use for your regular yard chores. Rejuvenating an overgrown privet hedge requires drastic pruning to bring the hedge back into shape. The privet genus (Ligustrum spp.) Common Privet hedging plants, Green Privet or Ligustrum ovalifolium hedging, are one of our most popular and familiar hedging plants in the UK. Take a look at our other hedging plants here. Use your pruning shears to cut your privet shrub down to a height of 6 to 8 inches. Use your pruning shears to create the final desired shape of your privet during the plant's third year, during the growing season. According to the University of Arizona Extension, scissor-action hedge shears are more effective than electric trimmers, which may break and tear twigs. Be careful as they can be invasive in some areas, like the Southeast. Setting the standard for formal clipped hedges, boxwood has the ability to withstand frequent shearing and shaping into perfect geometric forms. Cut back the last third of the branches the following spring to finish the less-drastic pruning method. For optimal growth and appearance, prune privet hedges twice a year. Use the lopper pruners to begin removing the overgrown branches in the spring. Debris can quickly accumulate and get caught in the inner branches, reducing the amount of light reaching the inner shrub and causing the hedge to look untidy. Before anything else, choosing the right privet is vital. Not just a pretty face, Privet hedging offers sustenance to birds and bees. Often confused with its selection 'Texanum'. Replace these diseased hedges with new privet hedges. In the spring following the first year of growth by the hedges, greater amounts of shaping must be done. You see, we live where two heavily traveled roads cross, and we've been thinking now for a few years that a hedge might add a little more privacy to our corner. The purpose of your hedge should be a determining factor in choosing the type of privet you plant. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! If you are pruning the privet hedge back to the soil level, cut all of the branches off to within 8 to 10 inches of the soil level. Select a pruning method; cutting the overgrown privet hedge back to the ground or pruning less drastically and removing only one-third of the privet hedge at one time. In the country, wild privet, while not as evergreen as the other two, carries masses of black fruit into the winter which are loved by birds. Privet hedges are best kept to about 2-3 metres. This allows the maximum amount of sunlight to reach the branches at the base of the hedge. Ligustrum do not require pruning, however respond well to it for shaping purposes or to form shaped hedges or very attractive small trees. Most privet shrubs grow 12 to 18 feet tall with a compact form and vigorous growth rate. 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. An effective formal hedge should be shaped to a profile where the hedge is wider at the base than at the top. Remove broken leaves and branches and set them aside as you cut. How to Train a Privet Hedge. Examine the privet hedge as you are cutting it back. If you have allowed a privet hedge to grow without restraint, it will quickly become overgrown and unsightly. The privet grows at a … It can also be left unpruned to take its natural shape. This keeps the hedge at the shape and height you desire for privacy and aesthetics. Privet is the ideal plant to create a traditional, classic looking hedge as its roots stem all the way back to Victorian England when it was a popular choice for gardens in inner city areas. For privet hedges, it is best to trim at least twice a year between May and August. Privet hedge plants are fast-growing, aesthetically very beautiful and semi-evergreen hedge plants. 2. Hedges can quickly become overgrown, filling up a border and becoming difficult to maintain. Continue to shape the privet hedge every spring and every autumn to keep it growing in the shape you desire and keep it at the height you desire. However in general, these are the optimum timings for pruning hedges: Deciduous hedges. The dense growth of the hedge makes it an ideal choice for privacy, and the spreading also makes it easy for shaping. Privet hedge pruning tips. But if you plant a hedge, you’ll find that privet hedge pruning is a must.If you are wondering when to prune privet hedges or how to prune a privet hedge, read on. The flowers and berries attract wildlife. They can be used as natural outer borders to define the edges of your garden or even as a way to create different sections within your outdoor space. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon. This robust shrub is a relatively fast grower – around 30cm per year – and grows well in most conditions, except for particularly wet sites. They are easy to grow and can reach 4 to 15 feet and can spread from 4 to 8 feet. The North Privet Hedge (Ligustrum x ibolium) is America's fastest growing deciduous hedge! On the other hand, informal fast growing evergreen bushes or shrubs for privacy, only need low-maintenance care year-round. Alternatives to Privet hedging. This is to maximise the chances of growth and make your shrub stronger throughout winter months. Forming privet hedges isn’t hard as you think since they grow very fast and all they need is a bit of care. Individually they tend to grow in a pyramidal shape, but with yearly shearing they can … It depends on how big and tall you want your hedges to grow. If you discover any diseased or damaged hedges, dig them out and discard them. Hedge trimmers are helpful for general shaping, especially when dealing with tall shrubs. Privet, with its lustrous deep-green foliage, makes a great privacy hedge or living fence. Knowing your bush’s growing habit and flowering time will help you improve on your privet hedge care. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. 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