WHEN DO YOU CUT BACK A LEYLANDII HEDGE?

When do you cut back a Leylandii hedge

There has been a lot of controversy regarding planting Leylandii hedges, almost always due to the 'antisocial' height and size they achieve. They block out the sun, casting large areas of shade on neighbouring properties. Furthermore, older specimens can take up a huge amount of space in the garden as well as render the soil beneath dry, and unable to support other plants.

Overgrown leylandii
The current legislation regarding overgrown Leylandii hedges in the United Kingdom comes under Section 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003). This allows local councils to take action when the hedge has grown to a height where...

“...the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant’s reasonable enjoyment of their property...”

When properly cut back and maintained, leylandii hedging can produce an absolutely stunning, compact hedge. However unlike most other hedges which will only need cutting once a year, leylandii hedging will need two and even three cuts a year to keep it in check. Forget to cut it back one year and it may already be too late to get it under control!

Leylandi hedge
For a newly planted hedge, trim back the overlong side-hoots at the beginning of the growing season. In northern Europe this will be around April. Come July make a second cut to lightly trim the sides. Then in July tie in the leader branch to a supporting cane.

In its second year trim the side-shoots again. This will encourage the formation of dense growth and leave a neat appearance over winter. Leylandii hedges can grow up to 1 metre a year and can quickly reach your desired height. Once the required height is reached, shorten the leading shoots to 15 cm  below the required height. The subsequent lower new growth will soon make up the height difference and form a thick top

For all other existing hedges, prune 2-3 times a year between April and the end of August.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW A LEYLANDII HEDGE
LEYLAND CYPRESS - Cupressus × leylandii
WHEN AND HOW DO YOU PRUNE BACK WEIGELA
WHEN DO YOU CUT BACK A LEYLANDII HEDGE?

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