Use your pruning shears to create the final desired shape of your privet during the plant's third year, during the growing season. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! For privet hedges, it is best to trim at least twice a year between May and August. Privet is tough as old boots and can definitely tolerate hard pruning. California hedges typically grow for about 10 to 15 feet high and wide. Privet hedges have long been favoured as a boundary hedge as they are easy to grow, easy to maintain and very reliable. Privet Hedge Care. This avoids the hedge self-shading and the lower braches receiving little to no light creating dead patches in the lower parts of the hedge. Excellent plant for hedges or screens or for shaping into small trees. If you discover any diseased or damaged hedges, dig them out and discard them. The dense growth of the hedge makes it an ideal choice for privacy, and the spreading also makes it easy for shaping. Alternatives to Privet hedging. Allow the privet hedge to regrow throughout the first season, shaping the new growth lightly in the autumn of that year to train it into the desired shape. Use the lopper pruners to begin removing the overgrown branches in the spring. We debated about what type of plant we would use, but we settled on waxleaf ligustrum. Privets respond very well to heavy shaping and pruning, and are valued additionally for their tolerance of neglect and less than ideal growing conditions. Privets can withstand heavy shearing, so shaping and controlling their size is easy. This will ensure that the bottom of the hedge gets enough light and will prevent leaf-drop. Common Privet hedging plants, Green Privet or Ligustrum ovalifolium hedging, are one of our most popular and familiar hedging plants in the UK. If one side of the hedge is receiving more sun than the other, this may cause an imbalance in color and vitality. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. These plants can be evergreen, semi-evergreen, or deciduous depending on where you live and the variety you choose. Rejuvenating an overgrown privet hedge requires drastic pruning to bring the hedge back into shape. The privet genus (Ligustrum spp.) Shape the privet hedge again in the autumn to keep the privet hedge growing in the shape you desire. Most privet shrubs grow 12 to 18 feet tall with a compact form and vigorous growth rate. A pruning saw may be necessary for old, tough branches that are more difficult to cut. Privet hedging is popular for its dense foliage that not only offers privacy, but also protects against pollution when grown as a formal hedge, making it perfect for urban or suburban gardens. Privet hedges are a great way to decorate your garden and can provide structure to any landscape. The benefits of growing a Privet hedge. They can be used as natural outer borders to define the edges of your garden or even as a way to create different sections within your outdoor space. How to Train a Privet Hedge. When to prune hedges. Replace these diseased hedges with new privet hedges. It depends on how big and tall you want your hedges to grow. Known for their oval-shaped leaves that are pale green when young, as the green privet hedges become more mature, the leaves darken as they age. Privet hedges grow quickly and forgive overzealous clipping. If you are pruning the privet hedge back to the soil level, cut all of the branches off to within 8 to 10 inches of the soil level. Prune your privet hedge annually in the early fall to control its size and shape or to remove any discolored, damaged or dead branches or foliage. You might not think that precise, detailed hedge-shaping would require a powered hedge trimmer. Ligustrum hedging is valued for its ability to be clipped into a range of different … This allows the maximum amount of sunlight to reach the branches at the base of the hedge. Knowing your bush’s growing habit and flowering time will help you improve on your privet hedge care. Shape the hedges at the start of the second growing season. Privet also tolerates urban pollution and is somewhat salt-tolerant. Privet hedges are a popular and attractive way of delineating a property line. Setting the standard for formal clipped hedges, boxwood has the ability to withstand frequent shearing and shaping into perfect geometric forms. The purpose of your hedge should be a determining factor in choosing the type of privet you plant. In the spring following the first year of growth by the hedges, greater amounts of shaping must be done. Continue to shape the privet hedge every spring and every autumn to keep it growing in the shape you desire and keep it at the height you desire. Timing of pruning should take into account the potential for nesting birds (see 'Problems' section below). consists of approximately 40 species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees, many of which are cultivated as hedges and topiaries. Privets are one of the most common shrubs used to create hedges and belong to the genus Ligustrum. According to the University of Arizona Extension, scissor-action hedge shears are more effective than electric trimmers, which may break and tear twigs. For a less-drastic pruning, cut one-third of the branches back to this level (leaving two-thirds standing). consists of approximately 40 species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees, many of which are cultivated as hedges and topiaries. Ligustrum do not require pruning, however respond well to it for shaping purposes or to form shaped hedges or very attractive small trees. For example, Ibolium privet (Ligustrum x ibolium) grows in zones 4 to 8 while Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum) ranges from zone 7b to 10a. When To Prune Ligustrum Light pruning of Ligustrum to remove a stray or damaged branch can be performed any time of year. Debris can quickly accumulate and get caught in the inner branches, reducing the amount of light reaching the inner shrub and causing the hedge to look untidy. Different varieties thrive in different U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. Ideally cut back one side of the hedge one year, then the other side one or two years later to retain the screening effect and give the plant the best chance of recovery. Replace these diseased hedges with new privet hedges. Privet hedging and wildlife. Formal privacy hedge trees need to be sheared and shaped every year to look neat and tidy and to form a “perfect” hedge. Privet hedge plants are fast-growing, aesthetically very beautiful and semi-evergreen hedge plants. For a less-drastic pruning, cut one-third of the branches back to this level (leaving two-thirds standing). We've been planting a hedge at the Crossroads. The privet grows at a … Cut back the last third of the branches the following spring to finish the less-drastic pruning method. For optimal growth and appearance, prune privet hedges twice a year. This is to maximise the chances of growth and make your shrub stronger throughout winter months. Be careful as they can be invasive in some areas, like the Southeast. Formative pruning: In winter, just after planting, and for the first two years after planting ; Maintenance pruning: Each summer If you cut the entire privet hedge to the ground, shape the new growth with the pruning shears in the spring. Tree shaping (also known by several other alternative names) uses living trees and other woody plants as the medium to create structures and art. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. You see, we live where two heavily traveled roads cross, and we've been thinking now for a few years that a hedge might add a little more privacy to our corner. In caliche soil or where Texas root rot prevails, grow it in containers. All Rights Reserved. The privet genus (Ligustrum spp.) Cut back another third of the branches the following spring if you chose to prune less drastically following the same method described in Step two. Hedge trimmers are helpful for general shaping, especially when dealing with tall shrubs. A single Privet if left untrimmed can be grown to a large size but it responds well to clipping and can be used to make a hedge of any height from 3-10ft in height so will more than adequately produce a hedge to give eye level privacy or grown as a small hedge as an internal garden boundary. Green Privet or Ligustrum Ovalifolium (Oval Leaved Privet) is an excellent choice for a formal hedge and they also make super topiary. Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. Privet is the ideal plant to create a traditional, classic looking hedge as its roots stem all the way back to Victorian England when it was a popular choice for gardens in inner city areas. If grown near a busy road, a Privet hedge will reduce the traffic noise and block pollutants. On the other hand, informal fast growing evergreen bushes or shrubs for privacy, only need low-maintenance care year-round. How to Care for Otto Luyken Laurel Plants, How to Cut Back Variegated Chinese Privet, Arizona Cooperative Extension: Pruning Hedges, University of Illinois Extension: Ask Extension, North Carolina State University: Pruning Shrubs, How to Trim Lilac, Rose of Sharon and Forsythia Bushes, How to Prune Evergreen Shrubs and Juniper Trees. An effective formal hedge should be shaped to a profile where the hedge is wider at the base than at the top. Snow damage is caused by the weight of accumul… Allow the privet hedge to regrow throughout the first season, shaping the new growth lightly in the autumn of that year to train it into the desired shape. Examine the privet hedge as you are cutting it back. However, a hedge trimmer is useful for cutting away the bulk of a bush at the start of a project and for trimming new growth on large bushes. If you are rejuvenating a privet hedge you cut to the ground, shape the new growth lightly with the pruning shears. Take a look at our other hedging plants here. A slightly pointed or rounded shaped with a wide base is optimal, as this mimics the shrub's natural shape and allows for light to reach the lower branches. Use your pruning shears to cut your privet shrub down to a height of 6 to 8 inches. Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. For optimal growth and appearance, prune privet hedges twice a year. Hedges can quickly become overgrown, filling up a border and becoming difficult to maintain. They are typically used in large quantities to create a privacy screen that is absolutely unparalleled. They are easy to grow and can reach 4 to 15 feet and can spread from 4 to 8 feet. Rake away the branches and leaves are on the ground. This versatile evergreen hedge plant is a popular border plant for both formal and informal gardens, or you can use taller varieties to create a dense living wall to block out undesirable views. Privet, with its lustrous deep-green foliage, makes a great privacy hedge or living fence. Privet hedge pruning tips. Privet grows more quickly than boxwood shrubs and tolerate heavy pruning and shaping, hence making it an attractive planting as a hedge. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Use your pruning shears to cut away about half of the privet's new growth the following year, during the growing season. The very name seems to say "privacy," as if a line of these bushes could form the ideal screen for those seeking a more private setting. If you discover any diseased or damaged hedges, dig them out and discard them. North Carolina State University recommends severe pruning for the first two years to cause privet to branch out into a bushy, strong form. Privets generally look their best when shaped with a wide base and a rounded or slightly pointed top. Individually they tend to grow in a pyramidal shape, but with yearly shearing they can … Do not attempt to prune your privet into its final desired shaped and size during its first growing season: this will cause the plant to have a weak, unsteady base. Select a pruning method; cutting the overgrown privet hedge back to the ground or pruning less drastically and removing only one-third of the privet hedge at one time. This robust shrub is a relatively fast grower – around 30cm per year – and grows well in most conditions, except for particularly wet sites. How to Shape a Privet. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. It can also be left unpruned to take its natural shape. It's a tough, old-fashioned plant that's been around forever. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. But if you plant a hedge, you’ll find that privet hedge pruning is a must.If you are wondering when to prune privet hedges or how to prune a privet hedge, read on. Golden privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium ‘Aureum’) is another type with golden variegation in the leaves. The North Privet Hedge (Ligustrum x ibolium) is America's fastest growing deciduous hedge! Use your hand shears to prune away dead, diseased or broken branches throughout the year. Privet’s evergreen foliage and aggressive growth make it a good choice for a hedge, but early training sets a standard for good behavior at maturity. Ligustrum tolerates a variety of soil types, and competes extremely well with native species. Remove broken leaves and branches and set them aside as you cut. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon. When shaping your established privet hedge aim to have slightly sloping sides with the top of the hedge being the narrowest. It will take approximately five years of growth to completely rejuvenate a privet hedge into a more restrained shape and size. 2. Often confused with its selection 'Texanum'. A privet hedge running along a property border is a classic look. Trim the privet hedge so that the bottom of the hedge is wider than the top; the top of the hedge can be either flat or rounded, depending on your preference. In the country, wild privet, while not as evergreen as the other two, carries masses of black fruit into the winter which are loved by birds. Before anything else, choosing the right privet is vital. Privet hedges are best kept to about 2-3 metres. The flowers and berries attract wildlife. This can be done without focusing a … Examine the privet hedge as you are cutting it back. However in general, these are the optimum timings for pruning hedges: Deciduous hedges. Many of the tools for shaping shrubs are tools that you would use for your regular yard chores. Examine the privet hedge as you are cutting it back. Renovation may rejuvenate an old hedge. If you have allowed a privet hedge to grow without restraint, it will quickly become overgrown and unsightly. Forming privet hedges isn’t hard as you think since they grow very fast and all they need is a bit of care. However, those homeowners seeking a formal-looking hedge for landscaping purposes might find the privet the attractive option for a hedgerow. This keeps the hedge at the shape and height you desire for privacy and aesthetics. Review the height of the plants, and trim them down to half their current size. Not just a pretty face, Privet hedging offers sustenance to birds and bees. The shape of the top of the hedge is variable, but a hedge with a pointed or rounded top will be less vulnerable to snow damage. Help the other side to receive more sunlight by pruning away branches on the sunnier side, allowing light to better filter in. With legislation in place concerning the height of evergreen hedges, renovation may be advisable where hedges have got out of hand. Hand pruners are helpful for the pruning tips above. Put simply, the more you trim your privet hedge, the thicker and denser it becomes.
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