Privet is as tough as old boots. Catherine Mansley, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, explains how best to hard-prune your privet hedge, in our Quick Tips video.
Privet is tough as old boots and can definitely tolerate hard pruning. 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. Hard pruning is best done at the end of winter so you’re not looking at an unsightly hedge for too long, or disturbing nesting birds. Make sure that your blades are sharp and that you wear eye protection. After pruning feed the hedge with a general purpose fertiliser, water copiously, and mulch.