Can.Hemlock hedge--can it be TOPPED?
Many years ago my husband planted about 200' of canadian hemlock which is now a 15' tall hedge. It is on the south property line, encroaching on available sunlight, and I notice some thinning of the lower branches along the entire 200' row. I'm not into intensive maintenance and would have chosen a different plant for a hedge, but so be it. We're getting too old to be wrestling with it.
The question is, can we with impunity cut about 4 feet off this row of hedge? (I say WE, meaning to have the job hired out.) It is swallowing the power/phone cables. If it loses its bottom branches it will no longer provide a privacy hedge. The plants are truly lovely with snow on them, and they provide cover for birds and rabbits etc.
These are in z5b MA at his house. If topping them all at one time is not possible, can they be shortened over a two year period or something like that?