How Do I Prune Old Hedges?

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Pruning old hedges is something you can do with a variety of different tools, including a chainsaw. Prune old hedges with help from a certified horticulturist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Grow Guru
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I'm Donna Emery from Glover Nursery in West Jordan, Utah. Today, we are going to be pruning an old hedge. This is the second year of renovation for this old Laurel hedge. We cut it down by about half last year, to about here, and for that, on the major trunks, we used a chainsaw. I don't think I'm going to need the chainsaw today, nor will I be using the hedge trimmer. The hedge trimmer does too much damage to big leaves like these. I'll use a hedge trimmer only on very finely foliaged hedge bushes like yews or boxwood or privet, but no ton something with a big leaf. So, it has responded from last year's heavy pruning, by sending out a lot of new shoots. Which were then of course, damaged in this terrible cold weather we just came through. We had a record setting cold winter. So, a lot of broad leafed to evergreens are suffering a bit. So, I'm going to go in and even out the pruning from last year and then, do something about all these dead leaves. I'm going to start by establishing an average height that I want this to be. And then, I'm going to go in and cut one branch at a time, just about a leaf node, until I get a pretty even height. Then, in this area, because I just don't like the looks of all those dead brown leaves, I'm going to get rid of them. And don't worry, new ones will fill in very, very quickly, it won't look bare for very long at all. On a broad leaf evergreen plant like this, where it re-sprouts quite easily from new growth. You don't have to worry about cutting down too low, the plant will respond quite well. However if you're doing something like a juniper hedge, you have to be very careful making your pruning cuts, that you don't go past where there are leaves. And leave just brown, dead wood, that's not going to work, you'll have a brown ugly spot for forever. So, on conifer hedges, make sure you leave a bit of green showing. Then, after you've finished pruning, water, fertilize, mulch and that plant will put out new growth within a matter of days. I'm Donna Emery from Glover Nursery.

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