Rejuvenating Yew and Privet hedging.
It’s very easy to forget that hedges are plants that need looking after just like others in our garden, in fact we only really notice them when they start encroaching on our space, start dying or our neighbours start complaining. So what can we do about it?
It is possible to tame our hedges and give them new vigor. Yew and Privet respond well to quite drastic pruning technique, however this is not for Conifers.
It is important that before you undertake any work on hedges or trees you make sure that there are no nesting birds.
The first step would be to remove half the growth on 1 side of your hedge cutting back to just under the desired width you require approx 15-20 cm.This will then expose the dormant buds which when triggered by the light will start to produce fresh new growth, to ensure even light from top to bottom it helps to trim your hedge to a “batter” a sloping cut that is thinner on the top. This should be done mid spring when the danger of frost has passed to avoid damaging the tender young growth. The other side of the hedge should be trimmed as normal.
It is important that we look after our hedge to ensure strong vigorous growth over the growing season, keep the plants healthy by applying a fertilizer such as Growmore and keeping them well watered a leaky hose drip irrigation system works well.
You may notice that Ivy has started to grow around your hedging, Ivy enjoys growing on weak and unhealthy plants, remove this to reduce competition for light, water and nutrients, continue to feed and water to keep plants healthy.
The following year repeat this technique on the opposite side. Remembering to feed and water regularly.
In the third year you can address the height of the overall hedge and this should be cut back to approx 15cm-20cm below the height you require.
Rejuvenating Yew and privet hedges does not happen overnight but the satisfaction and results are well worth the wait.