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Cutting back a hedge

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Paul B, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi Folks

    I have a thick hedge which, over the years, I haven't cut back sufficiently. It's fourteen years old. See pictures for its current profile and leaves for identification purposes.

    I would like to reduce its depth (front to back). Ideally, in leafy growth, I would like the front to be roughly in line with the pavement rear edge and I also want to take some off the inside.

    My questions are about the best way to go about this, in stages. For example I'd ideally like to take a substantial amount off the front now. Since this might leave it fairly bare I would not take any off the inside until the front is in leaf again. Does this sound reasonable and have I picked a bad time of year to be doing this? Comments appreciated!

    Also if anyone can identify the hedge type I'd be grateful.

    Many thanks

    Paul

    IMG_2544.JPGIMG_2546.JPG
     
  2. mazambo

    mazambo Gardener

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    Hi Paul B
    I think it could be ilex (Holly) if it is the best time to cut is winter, I've never had a holly hedge so I don't know how they react to heavy cutting, if it can tolerate it I'd personally go the whole hog and do the whole job in one go unless privacy is an issue.
     
  3. Paul B

    Paul B Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks Mazambo

    That would be good news on the timing front. Happy to do it in two parts; it does help with privacy but also I think it looks better with at least some green on it. Also since I'm leaving the top for now it would otherwise look like some teenager's weird haircut :)
     
  4. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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    Doesn’t look like holly to me.
     
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    • mazambo

      mazambo Gardener

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      Yes could be wrong just going off this image, ilex chinesis.
       

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    • WeeTam

      WeeTam Total Gardener

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      If it was mine i would hard prune the pavement side first next spring. Maybe Too late now as a hard winter could damage it.
      Give it a good feed. Following spring hard prune the inside.
       
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      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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      • Tetters

        Tetters Total Gardener

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        Welcome to the forum @Paul B
        Your hedge appears to be Prunus Lusitanicus (definitely not Griselinia @Scrungee )
        It is tough, and will take pruning at any time of the year. It is best to cut it hard though in spring or early summer ... after checking very carefully for possible nesting birds. Doing it then will encourage regrowth quite quickly.
         
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        • Paul B

          Paul B Apprentice Gardener

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          Many thanks to all those who have contributed.

          I think the suggestion of Prunus lusitanica is the closest species match thus far. The fine details match and overall it does have a laurel-like appearance.

          Spring seems like the best idea for a heavy prune - thanks @WeeTam and @Tetters. I will probably just do the pavement side initially, probably doing the other side the following year.
           

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