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openspaceman

Domestic hedge

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I normally don't cut my holly and hawthorn hedge before mid July for the sake of nesting but over the last 40 years it has got a bit leggy and gappy, this latter due to getting smothered in ivy which I have removed.

 

Any suggestions for the best cutting regime to get it dense and compact again?

 

Also wondering if I should tackle my neighbour's gold leylandii hedge a bit early this year as it has intruded into the garden somewhat, to encourage a little growth once it's cut back as much as I dare.

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33 minutes ago, openspaceman said:

I normally don't cut my holly and hawthorn hedge before mid July for the sake of nesting but over the last 40 years it has got a bit leggy and gappy, this latter due to getting smothered in ivy which I have removed.

 

Any suggestions for the best cutting regime to get it dense and compact again?

 

Also wondering if I should tackle my neighbour's gold leylandii hedge a bit early this year as it has intruded into the garden somewhat, to encourage a little growth once it's cut back as much as I dare.

Late summer usually for holly, hawthorn clip every 4-6 weeks to keep tidy May-Sept but check for birds nesting first, if nesting birds are disturbed they normally just fly out and come back however if the nest in hedge is cut back hard a nest will be exposed to predators. Leylandii usually late summer but if intruding into garden consider cutting back a bit now and then a bit more later if need be but again check for nesting birds first. 

Edited by Vedhoggar
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I started to cut a hawthorn hedge every 3 yrs just to allow more berries for birds, hedge seems to be alot healthier since, and by leaving it wild it shades out the ivy more than when it was cut every year.

 

3rd year growth  gets covered in berries.

 

I think cutting very often may weaken the plants making them less vigorous?

 

Neighbours probably think its being lazy look untidy, & its its also alot more hassle doing it every 3 years than cutting regular as  a load of  larger arisings to deal with.

 

Beech and elm hedges I  cut every year.

Edited by Stere
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5 hours ago, Stere said:

I started to cut a hawthorn hedge every 3 yrs just to allow more berries for birds, hedge seems to be alot healthier since, and by leaving it wild it shades out the ivy more than when it was cut every year.

 

3rd year growth  gets covered in berries.

 

I think cutting very often may weaken the plants making them less vigorous?

 

Neighbours probably think its being lazy look untidy, & its its also alot more hassle doing it every 3 years than cutting regular as  a load of  larger arisings to deal with.

 

Beech and elm hedges I  cut every year.

In this case the holly and hawthorn are fairly intimately mixed and there is a public footpath on one side and my garage and sheds 50cms away on the other, just enough room for me to squeeze by, so not any scope for leaving it apart from the top. Leaving the top would cut light to the bottom. Over the years the holly has become more dominant.

 

Whether an early  then a later cut would affect the vigour is why I am asking. On the one hand I wonder if it would promote more shoots from within the hedge.

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When cutting this type of hedge to promote growth and to thicken up the final size hedge i would cut it back about 6" further than the final size. Then trim the new growth to closer to the final size until thickened up!

 

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