Privet Arch to get a good pruning after 29yrs.

schoolhouse_gwJanuary 30, 2013

Well, I bit the bullet and called a landscaper to come give me an estimate on pruning the tall privet hedge, that forms my privet arch, on the road side. Several weeks ago, a snow plow went through and after the snow melt I saw quite a few of the big branches broken. I took my little bow saw and tried to clear out what I could but then reality set in.

The hedge has large branches growing out horizontally from its base, towards the road. BIG branches. Plus "thickets" of suckers about 3' from the base all along the length. What has needed to be done for a long time is to prune all those branches off and trim the hedge right up vertically and shear off those suckers. Now if I had a chainsaw and wasn't afraid to use it, I'd probably tackle it myself; but instead I decided to call a professional who wouldn't go in there and just start whacking away. Afterall, I don't want it to die.

The landscaper guy quoted me a price of $500(!). I asked if he could do it for $400. Luck has it, I knew the guy from years ago so he said, "We'll try to do it for $400". When I fretted about the hedge dying back and not recovering he assured me "you can't kill privet hedge". Well, we'll see. I figure it will take at least 10yrs. to come back to what I hope, I'll be 69 - I want some more years to enjoy it! lol I was impressed by his concern for the arch design and how trimming will be done to preserve it and encourage new growth without destroying it.

They plan on coming the first part of Feb. so cross your fingers and wish me luck that I made the right decision at the right time. The fact that they will haul away all the debris is a big plus and a big part of the cost.

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Your decision to prune down that huge privet hedge put old memories in my mind. In the mid 50s a tornado in North Central Indiana, moved my uncles 3 story house 18 inches off its foundation and completely destroyed his privet hedge. It also ruined my aunt's just installed, extra special, lavender St. Charles kitchen. My uncle gutted the house and it was rebuilt as a two-family, two story house but what really impressed me was the patience my cousin had taking cuttings off the scattered remains of the privet so that by the time the house was rebuilt, a new hedge was also installed.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Looking at the size of it, that will be a terrific chore! Man, oh, man!
So glad you are getting professional help.
I don't want you to die either. :)

~ Annie

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:00PM
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That's encouraging grandmachris. Altho you wouldn't believe it looking at the first pic, the hedge still has very tall, healthy,and new growth vertical branches that still help to create the inner arch (on the other side). I know it will look horrible for awhile on that one side but it's necessary. The neighbors who have had to back out their drive very carefully and peer around it all these years will be happy! But they never were nasty about it, I was blessed in that way.

Ha, Annie. You know I'm itching to do it, but if they trim too much or incorrectly than I can blame them. :) As I said before, the one good thing is they will haul it all away. My brush pile could never handle it. One of my friends said it will probably only take them an hour, why are they charging so much? Well, it would have been cheaper if I had agreed to do the cleanup. The landscaper also offered to chip it all on site and spread it below and in front of the hedge for mulch; but that would cost more.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:17PM
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No one likes to spend that kind of money, but if not you might have had an injury which would cost you more, taken many weeks or months to complete the job with frustration in between, had to deal with all the brush, cut it small enough for several piles, or pay to haul it away, or do it yourself. Overall, I think the $400 will be money well spent. I hope they do it to your satisfaction.
Laurie (aka cheapskate)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:02PM
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The guys came this morning and are halfway through. They've taken two trailer loads of branches away so far. It's looking nice, kind of scary but I know it is the best thing to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Privet Arch gets pruned

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Uh 0h. Looks like the video isn't working now. Sorry. Will post photos later instead.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:32PM
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    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:14PM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

Schoolhouse, that looks sensational! Are you feeling better about having it done now?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:21PM
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MeMo - Yes I am, and I'm very happy with their work. They ended up taking out five trailer loads of branches and debris and cleaned up the entire area before they left. Even taking a leaf blower and clearing the road of leaves and bits. Now my Toro Zero Turn mower can go right along there instead of me having to use the walk behind mower and wrestle with branches sticking me in the head and leaving bruises on my arms. That green wire fence you see along the bottom was placed there in the very early years of growth to keep my dogs out of the road. Can't believe it's still intact. Debating whether or not to take the wire cutters and remove it, wouldn't be a hard job just take awhile.

I think it will green up fairly quickly. Now I wish I would have had them do the length in front of the courtyard garden but it would have meant more money. But after I saw how they did the cutting on the big one, I'm feeling confident I can prune back the smaller one.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Wow! That looks great! Neat and tidy job and all cleaned up.
So glad it (and you) won't die. ;)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:36AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

They did a super good job, when it greens up it's going to look fabulous. I'm betting you'r doing the happy dance right about now :).


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:12PM
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At present you can see right through to the orchard from the road, I sure hope it greens up, if not this summer, I'm sure it will next. Keeping my fingers crossed; and I doubt there will be any blooms this Spring.

This is the first time I've had anything done where the contractor listened to me and did exactly what I wanted. Depending upon how high their rates are, I might just ask them to return for the occasional trim in the coming years. I bet they charge a good bit tho. I was equally tickled that they hauled away two piles of branches I had cut back earlier and left inside the arch.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:23AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

That looks terrific. So glad you are happy with it!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:41PM
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Wonderful improvement! Money well spent.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:34PM
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The pruning sure made a big difference. It looks great.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:42PM
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