Northern Privet problems

moonshadow28(z6 RI)June 9, 2012

We have a border of Northern Privets around our deck. They are 25 years old and stand about 12 feet tall. They have always been full and bushy on the top 6 feet and look dead and bare below that. For the past 2 years we have noticed lots of new leaves and fullness in early Spring and then everything below 2 feet dries up and dies while the top continues to grow. There are no signs of spider mites or honey fungus. Does this sound like a pruning issue? We have pruned the top but never below 3 feet. At this point they look awful and I wonder if we should cut them right down to a foot or so... PLEASE HELP!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tree_oracle(z6b MA)

Yes, your last sentence is correct. Cut it down to a foot or so. Privet that size is in need of some serious rejuvenation pruning. Nothing will kill privet so don't worry about hurting it. It will come back quickly if you water and fertilize the area with a high nitrogen fertilizer. After it comes back, prune it into a shape where the bottom of the hedge is thicker than the top so that the bottom gets enough sunlight to stay full. Every time the top grows 6 inches to a foot, you can prune some of that new growth off to thicken the top of the hedge.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 7:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Bristol County Conservation District 2014 Plant Sale
Now is the time the Massachusetts County Conservation...
edlincoln
How do I add a zone to my user name?
I've been trying to edit my profile in "Your Houzz"...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
How are you guys holding up in this "Snowpocalypse"??
Hi guys, haven't been posting much, but still lurk...
terrene_ma
2015 Camellia Show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden
http://www.towerhillbg.org/index.php?cID=410 This weekend,...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Cold or not, it's THAT time of year again!
The infamous Philadelphia International Flower Show is...
hunt4carl
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™