hedge trimming


Old 12-14-01, 12:37 PM
M W is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: san diego, ca, us
Posts: 137
hedge trimming

I planted what amounts to a low hedge around the front portion of my house. Texas Privet. I planted 15 gallon plants so it would fill in much quicker....the space is rather large. Now the plants are growing "up" at a very fast rate. (southern cal inland) How do I trim them to get them to grow more towards each other....sideways? I cut the tops they grow faster straight up....will the same work if I trim the sides?
Thanks again for the responses!
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Old 12-24-01, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Trimming privet

I don't know how big Texas privet gets, but I would imagine that it gets really big because everything in Texas is big. The privet I have experienced can grow 20 feet and look like a tree. I hope you did not plant it as a foundation planting. Privet tends to grow like crazy. I once bought an older home that had a privet hedge bordering the property. It was overgrown and about 12 feet tall and full of honeysuckle and other undesirable weeds. I cut it to the ground, killed out the weeds. In four years time it was "armpit high" where I could easily keep it under control with my hedge trimmers. Clipping along the top tended to encourage horizontal growth. I would suggest concentrating on the height and the horizontal growth will take care of itself. The only other problem I had with it was that because it grew so densely was that bees love to build nests in it. I always keep a can of Raid for bees and flying insects on hand so that I did not get stung when I did my pruning.
Old 12-26-01, 01:28 PM
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Hi Twelvepole,

You gave some great advice to M W. I would just like to comment that if you or anyone is being stung, it may be WASPS! I'm not saying you can't get stung by bees or that you don't know what they look like. It's possible, and I might be way out of whack here. I was stung several years ago by bumble bees when I started mowing our other 3 acres that hadn't been mowed in years. They make their homes in the ground and feast on the clover in the field. I invaded their home, and they let me know it. Since that time, I work inches away from them in my flowerbeds, and they don't bother me.

Bees may have different habitats, and they could live in hedges, but they don't around here. I don't use pesticides unless I absolutely have to. When it comes to wasps, I've been stung MANY, MANY times. I also carry a can of Wasp spray around all summer--for the wasps. They will actually chase you if you invade their home. They make their homes in shrubs, flowerbeds, etc., and you don't see them until you reach in to pull a weed. Their nests can be 2-3 inches off the ground.

We had a birdhouse in a pine tree that I thought should be cleaned out. My husband walked over to it and saw about 20 wasps around the entry hole. Again, since I've (not my husband) been stung several times by these guys, he ran after the spray and over 100 wasps attempted to make their way out as he started spraying.

The only reason I'm responding to this is that there are several new gardeners out there, and I don't want them grabbing a can of spray every time they see a bee. For the most part, they're harmless and important for pollination. There are MANY who say you shouldn't spray wasps since they are also great pollinators! Well, I only hope they visit our yard and have to sprint to get away from them. They'd change their tune!

Keep up the good advice, and I truly hope you're not offended by my comments.

Old 12-26-01, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Wasps in the hedge

Hello, Gami!

They were wasps. I should not have said bees. I used wasp and hornet spray that would shoot a stream. Worked great for a coward like me.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year!
Old 12-26-01, 11:20 PM
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Me too, Twelvepole! And don't anybody waste money on the K-Mart brand. That just fizzles out in front of the can. Get Raid--the high powered stuff that shoots 10' or so. You can get them in mid-air.

Best wishes back at you and everyone!


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