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Over the last year or so my conifer hedge (around 60 ft by 10 foot high) has started to die and turn brown (could be the bad winters or maybe the conifer aphid). I’ve started to cut down the dead ones but some bits are still growing and you have a mixture of alive and dead conifer! The hedge has always been a good couple of foot too tall to manage so do you think its worth cutting the hedge a couple of foot lower in the sections which are still mostly green in the hope it will grow back or should I give it up as a lost cause and cut it all down and replant (a big job).
I know most people will say get rid of the conifers but it was a nice hedge and did a good job of blocking the noise and pollution from the road behind (and doesn’t bother any neighbours as it backs onto a main road.
If I did rip down and replan what would people recommend. The requirements are fairly fast grower to 8 foot or so, evergreen and not privet (always hated it). I want to be able to train it into a formal hedge again.
I've had the same problem with mine - caused by drought I think, combined with some over-vigorous trimming by my OH. I've let mine grow this year and am gradually pulling the too-long growth through the dead patches. When its all grown through and put on a few inches, I'll trim it all back very carefully. It'll end up a deeper hedge than before but only by 4 or 5 inches and it should be much improved. Its working so far. As far as your height goes, I'd chop it to the height you want now and see how it goes - no point letting it waste energy growing where you don't want it. If mine dies, I'm planning an 8ft close-picket fence and pyracantha. Yew's too slow, laurel too big, escallonia too leggy, privet too... yuck. What really puts me off making the change is the garden slopes, so panel fencing is a major faff. It's gonna cost me a fortune when that hedge finally croaks. Did used to drive past a house whose privet was dying - they used green spray-paint on the brown patches... Desperate times Nwalch, tee hee!!! x
Another forum member was seeking advice about a dying confier hedge, a couple of days ago. That thread is here:
Browning can also be caused by over zelous trimming.
I had a conifer with large dead brown areas. My experience is that cutting out the brown areas can save the plant. But the tree does not regrow to fill out the dead space. What I'm actually trying to do is to grow an evergreen honeysuckle up through it.
Completly agree Auntie Betty. I've been throught the same list and love it or hate it conifer is the only one to do what I want (I'd love a yew hedge but it would take too long).
I think I will try lowering it so at least I will have got rid of some of the dead bits and see how it goes. Here's a few photos of how it is at the moment. My worry is the brown bits wont grow back. Did you get new growth through yours?