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I planted bare root privet hedging last November and trimmed back by one third as advised by the nursery where I bought the plants. A year has now passed and all the plants have stared to grow they are about 1 ft high now. My question is when and how do I prune to achieve a good strong hedge. I am aiming at a finished height of about 5 ft and a narrow hedge. The hedge is to provide some privacy and also to give some protection to my veg raised beds from the wind. I have googled but so many different suggestions I am confused. Thanks for any replies.


I think its advised to cut them back by one third to encourage them to bush out at the bottom, rather than just having a single stem.

If that has worked then I guess you could prune back each new branch, to encourage even more branches. But I'd wait till next spring incae we gat a frost that harms the newly cut wood.

I would not prune again until  mid summer when I would expect the hedge to be at least double it's current size.  Possibly three times. I  would  prune only the sides and, even though small, would already be aiming at the top being narrower than the bottom.  

By the summer of 2015 I would expect your hedge to be well on its way to your 5'.  When your hedge exceeds  height required start regular cutting of the top.  A hedge should be wider at,the bottom...light to all parts of the hedge for good growth.....than at the top.  Looks better too

A few years I planted a separate a veg patch.  They were not bare root but cheap in the clearance section of a local nursery.  Bit root bound.....loosened roots prior to planting..... but otherwise healthy plants.  They grew quickly and I followed the way I suggest above.  This hedge is thick and looks good



Yes, privet grows quickly once established provided it's location has been well prepared, as with any hedging plant. It shouldn't need any attention till next year as LF and Verdun have said. If the site's windy - you mentioned getting some protection for your veg - they may get a little wind damage over the winter and spring so you may even want to put in some additional wind break like netting to give them a bit of help through the worst weather.

Yep, good advice fairy.  As a matter of fact superb advice!  Wot a clever, brilliant, nice......FORGIVING.....fairy you are 

Seriously, a temporary windbreak of netting etc. is the way to go for a season or two whilst your hedge is growing rubber



I remember on GW watching Alan Titchmarsh showing how he planted a new hedge using whips. He cut them down by one third and put a fine mesh screen behind to protect from wind.


I'm all heart Verd....

I know it's not very attractive but if it protects your investment and gets it going then it's surely worth doing. 

PS- I didn't know you could get 'rubber' from a privet ....should have gone to Specsavers Verd! 

Of course you can Fairy.  Ligustrum Ficus elasticis Aureum.....the yellow leaved privet that's used for extracting rubber here in Cornwall.  Between Tomfoolin and Drekkly Town south of the river Tamar near Alrightareeorno rubber has been made there for centuries...well, sInce early 1900's anyway. We learn something every day Fairy 

Oh, I do go to specsavers.....I bumped into someone there only the other day 


Many thanks for your replies. I will leave it alone until next year and consider some netting to protect it through the winter.

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