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Derbyshire, United Kingdom Gb

How hard dare I prune privet? I have a lovely standard ball but it is starting to take light from a window and I would like to be quite tough and cut it well back into old wood. Is it too much of a risk?



When you say privet, do you mean the small leaf ligustrum. If so, I would suggest that if you over-prune it will not regenerate. It is mostly pruned very lightly on a reguar basis and now would be a little late. Better to wait until the spring.

14 Oct, 2012


Sorry to disagree, but I have always found that Ligustrum used as a hedge, although usually lightly trimmed 2 or 3 times a year, can also be cut back as hard as you like, I have reduced a hedge from about 5 feet right down to 2 feet, and it recovered within 2 months, with new growth right down to the bottom , I used a chainsaw to do this, so no careful pruning, Derek.

14 Oct, 2012


Ah! Thank you both for your views. I do always cut it a couple of times a year to keep a lovely shape and solid ball but somehow over the years the size has crept up on me without me really noticing.

We are having frosts here now so I will not prune until Spring. Perhaps in view of you replies, I would be best to prune with caution but perhaps risk taking the back side which can't be seen a little further and then sit back to see what happens.


14 Oct, 2012

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