• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to prune a privet hedge.


    1 Use loppers to remove one-third of the older stems, so sunlight can penetrate the hedge's interior.
    2 Find long stems that grow out of hedge, and snip them close to the ground.
    3 Where one stem branches into two, cut just above the Y-shaped split.
    4 Continue cutting older stems, but leave new growth.
    5 Use hand pruners to thin stems.
    6 Place clippings in trash bags.
    7 Next spring, apply a shrub fertilizer.
    8 Next summer, repeat pruning by removing one-third of the large stems.
    See products and services from this episode.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      The work is pleasant enough, especially on a warm, breezy day, although it can become monotonous after a few hours
Ask TOH users about Trees & Shrubs

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • lopper
      • bypass pruners
        Hand pruners

      Shopping List

      1. Stepladder

      used to reach high branches

      2. Plastic trash bags

      used to collect hedge clippings