How to Prune

nickrosesnMarch 15, 2014

I don't know what hedge I have but over at the "Name that Plant" forum they say it could be Abelia or California Privet but its hard since it hasn't bloomed yet. My grandparents planted the hedge back in the 1950's.

Any way I have a question on how to deal with the dead patch in the hedge. Do I cut until I see green branches or what? The only color I have seen so far in the branches is a light tan/brown color.

This post was edited by NickRose on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 1:45

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


you cut out dead stuff .... mostly.. becasue.. its dead ...

live pieces.. will have a green cambian layer.. just under the bark.. dead stuff doesnt ....

cut one piece of each.. study.. learn ...

then remove all that dead stuff.. back to live ...

yes there will be a gaping hole... it will fill in.. even if it takes a year or two ...

nothing else you can do ...

is that grandmas house.. or are you on her property.. taking a pic of the neighbor ....

it looks like there might be an area of yellowing leaves at about 8 oclock to the hole .. that might also die ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:40AM
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Yes I was on my grandmas property so that was the neighbors house. I'll have to take a closer look at the yellow area. We got hit bad during November and December with freezing weather and that's when the whole hedge was loosing leaves and having some dead patch's.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

We got hit bad during November and December with freezing weather

===>>> oh crikey nick.. you dont know what bad means in winter.. in z9 CA... lol ...

'bad' starts with nearly thirty days in a row under or near zero with wind chill .. 10 below or less ...

i dont know.. what your ultimate goal is with this group of plants ... i suppose it might have to do with what will be done with the property ...

that whole line of plants could be renovated into much better shape and a better look ... but it would be a multi-year project ... and most likely.. only worth it.. if you are keeping the property in the family ...

if you are selling.. let the next guy deal with it ...


    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:43PM
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Yeah that's true, we always make a big issue about cold, when the east coast has to deal with negative degree weather. Also when it comes to rain people for some reason forget how to drive.

Anyways we are living in the house so in staying with us. Normally I always keep the hedge straight and clean but since the dirt area is seeded with wild flower seeds I was thinking of keeping hedge on a more bushy style. Not too wild, I'll keep the sides in check and let the top flower for the wildlife. Too me I like it how it looks right now. The escallonia flowers in the back or at least I think are escallonia are always buzzing with bumble bees and other wildlife.

I cut out the dead wood, so now there is a big hole. How do I fill the gap. Do I cut some of the branches that are on the edge of the hole to promote new branching to the gap?

This post was edited by NickRose on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 16:47

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 4:02PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

this is the really hard part ... so i will yell ...


by allowing.. introducing.. light into the center of the shrub... with no insult to the root system ...

it will bud explosively ...

but as i said.. it might take a season or two to fill in ... mind you.. my growing season is only 5 months.. whereas your is probably 10.. so i can not hazard any guess.. as to how fast it will recover .. especially with your really cold weather.. lol ...

i see some twine or wire in there.. while you were cutting it out.. did you find any evidence of a prior break.. that someone tried to wire the plant back together??? ... frankly.. it looks like someone fell into the bush a while back [like a year or two ago] ... just by the size of the hole ... any speculation????

when pruning or shaping shrubs... the key is to know when they bloom ... and to trim after.. so you can enjoy the bloom..

i see you left the yellowing part ... now at about 9 oclock on the last pic .... dont be surprised if that goes.. in the heat of summer ...


    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Herd you loud and clear. Here is hoping the wildflower seeds I spread will distract from the hole in the hedge.

I saw that wire too and you can also see there is a metal pipe connected to it. We moved into the house in 2012 and I have no idea what exactly my grandparents did with the hedge. Since the pipe is with in the hedge I can only guess it was done in the early years of the hedge back in the 50's.

This post was edited by NickRose on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 20:34

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i tried wildflower seed... way back in time..

i wish you luck with it.. is it an annual or perennial mix???

it did not work out as well as i had hoped ...

but then again.. you have a much longer growing season ...

did you see.. any type of physical injury.. to that part of the shrub you cut out???

if you want to talk about wildflower seed.. see you in the appropriate forum ... annual or perennial ... i suppose there might be a wildflower forum.. but i dont hang there ...


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:17AM
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I picked out different mixes which were mixed with annual and perennial. The annual will give color this season and then next season it will be both. It takes 2-3 years to see the full outcome, so we will see how it looks by then. If it doesn't look good then I will change some things.

No I did not see any other injury to that part of the shrub. I know its hard since there is no flowers, but does it seem like a privet?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 1:59PM
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