Answer: If the Japanese privet has become sparse at the bottom, it may just need to be pruned a little differently. If the tops of hedges are allowed to become wider than the bottoms, they effectively shade out sunlight and cause the lower parts of the plant to become bare. If you prune your privet narrower on top and gradually widening to the bottom, the entire shrub will remain green. Other options for a dense screening hedge include Thuja (American arborvitae), Viburnum, Escallonia (a vigorous grower with late-summer bloom), California laurel, Nandina (heavenly bamboo) and Elaeagnus (silverberry). Good luck with your landscape!
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