The Q&A Archives: Rejuvenation Of Screening Hedge

Question: I just purchased an older home that has a screening hedge that has been left unattended for many years. There are about 8 bushes (not evergreen) in a line infront of a 4' tall, 50' long chain link fence. These bushes are 4' tall but there is about 3' off stems that are bare of leaves needless to say they don't provide much screening. I'm tempted to cut them off about 1' from the ground and see what happens. Any suggestions?

Answer: Without knowing what type of shrub was used it is hard to give you helpful information. However, if it is privet (or another equally tough as nails deciduous shrub), you can probably rejuvenate it by cutting it off very short, as close to the ground as possible. An application of compost and/or complete fertilizer according to the label instructions would be a good idea. Allow it to regrow and carefully trim it about every six inches so that it is encouraged to branch and become dense. Maintain a shape that is wider at the base than at the top so that sunlight reaches into the bottom of the hedge.

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