Privet Root Habit - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, CA
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Question by alanileneg
August 31, 2002
What is the habit of privet roots? I want to plant privet (most likely waxleaf privet) on a slope. I am currently having problems with pepper trees on the slope sending roots into a neighbor's yard. I'm planning on replacing the peppers. Do the privet roots spread or do they stay close to the foliage area?

I would like a 6-8 foot screen from the plants. Your web site says the Ligustrum texanum grows 8-10 feet tall. Are there any full sun, evergreen varieties that are just a little shorter?

Thanks
Alan


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Answer from NGA
August 31, 2002
Root depth really depends upon soil type and moisture conditions. Under reasonable growing conditions you can expect to find privet roots in the top 6"-8" of soil, extending out about one and one-half times the diameter of the plant. The roots are not generally thought of as being invasive. Pepper trees, on the other hand, do have invasive roots. You shouldn't have a similar problem with privets. Ligustrum texanum can be pruned and will remain healthy when kept at a 6'-8' height. Enjoy your new hedge!

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