Privet Hedge Attacked By BMW - Knowledgebase Question

Owings Mills, MD
Question by sstenner
January 14, 2000
Our privet hedge was run over by a car that landed in our front yard just before Christmas. Actually, I think most of the damage was done when the tow truck pulled the car out back over the hedge. I plan to tie the plants back up to a vertical position, but I was wondering if they have a stong enough root system to recover. They are growing on the edge of a ditch and have probably been there for thirty years or more. If they don't survive - how do I replace the damaged section without having a gap-toothed hedge?


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Answer from NGA
January 14, 2000

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Let's hope for the best. A plant that's been in the ground for 3 decades probably has a fairly extensive root system. Tie the plants up and see how they do in the spring. At that time you can cut back any stems that are dead (which will promote new growth). If some major damage has been done and you end up with gaps, try layering stems from adjacent plants. Just bend a stem down to the ground, injure it slightly on the side you'll bury in the ground, then mound some soil over the injury. By the end of the summer the layered stems will have rooted and will begin sending up new shoots on their own. At that point you can sever the stem from the parent plant and allow the new plant to grow.

Good luck with your hedge!

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