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can I prune mature beech trees into a hedge

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I have a beech hedge that has been left to grow naturally. The trees are now 30 feet+ and totally shading my garden. Can I prune these trees to become a beech hedge once more? I am anxious not to kill the trees as they would have to be pruned rather hard?

On plant bondgirl



Welcome to GOY I would be inclined to have a go, Why don't you do it gradually as it's going to be a big job to do in one go.I must say a short beech hedge looks lovely.

29 Aug, 2009


Thank you. I think I will and as you say maybe gradually is the way to go.

29 Aug, 2009


yes this is possible. we inherited a beech hedge that had been allowed to grow well over 50 ft. we [hubby] reduced it to 25ft one season and then down to 15ft foot the following season. it has thickened up nicely. the original trunks were a good 10-12" in diameter. just take it steadily and becareful of the weight of the trunks you lop off. The fence is still waiting to be repaired :o)

29 Aug, 2009


Yes, just as seaburngirl says:

Carry out pruning in winter, removing about half of the tree's height in the first year.

Next year, you can cut the trees back down to a foot or two beneath the final height of your desired hedge.

I'm not suggesting that you coppice yours, but if you haven't seen it done then here is a little video:

Cover the cuts with a sealing product and use clean tools...
Good Luck!

14 Oct, 2009

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