Posted: 21/11/2013 at 18:12
I don't cut my hawthorn that tightly and there's plenty of berries and nests. Plenty of nests in the privet as well and in those hawthorns that haven't been cut at all.
You need to decide on the effect you want to achieve. Shelter for you? shelter for birds and other wildlife? for looks only?
Neat and suitable for a formal garden or a bit straggly and countrified? How many cuts a year, how tall, how wide. etc