Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Methuen, MA
Question by cmargaret
July 25, 2001
the privi hedges in our new house are overgrown and look like sticks.

Can I cut them back to ground level without killing them. When is the best time to cut them back

thank you


Answer from NGA
July 25, 2001


I apologize for our delay in answering your question. Privet hedge that is overgrown can be cut back very short (ie cut it off about twelve inches from the ground) in late winter. This will encourage it to regrow denser from the base. It can then be trimmed often to encourage very thick growth with many branches. Trim it about every six to twelve inches of growth to maximize branching as it regrows. The hedge should be trimmed so that it is narrower at the top and wider at the base, this keeps it leafy lower to the ground. Once the hedge has reached the height you want it to be, trim as needed to maintain that size.

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