Hemlock hedge is overgrown

tootswisc(z4/5Wi)September 3, 2006

We have a beautiful hemlock hedge that is over 100 feet long. We are not good trimmers since it looked just beautiful weeping into our yard. Well now it is gigantic and growing into overhead power lines. The hedge is more like a tree line! We have drastically trimed back part of it to find lot's of bare spots. Yikes! I hope we haven't ruined part of the hedge. What is the best way to trim the hedge back.

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Since most hemlocks are apt to grow as tall trees and not into a shrub form, maintaining as a hedge will require consistent, frequent and regular attention. Generally, conifers which are genetically inclined to grow tall, like the hemlocks, if pruned radically after a period of inattention will display bare, woody areas like you describe. They can sometimes fill in but often will remain that way - not many conifers will sprout new growth from bare wood.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 1:58AM
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Well that is sad news. Fortunately, our neighbors insist that we keep their side trimmed so hopefully things will fill back in from the other side. The hedge was trimmed 2 years ago. It looks just beautiful but the branches shooting are becoming thick and heavy.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 2:17AM
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I have a hemlock hedge over 100' long and have described its care elsewhere on this forum. I prune it (now have to hire it out, under my supervision) once a year. Late winter, earliest spring. Don't dare skip a year. These are trees, not shrubs.

I shear mine but they could be hand-clipped for a more naturalistic look. That would take a tremendous amount of labor. I keep mine about 15' or 18' tall and it is a mighty battle. It gets a lot of sun, necessary to keep the full look, and I water religiously. They are shallow-rooted. I fertilize with 10-10-10 every few years. Probably should do every year.

This is a great screen from my neighbors--we prune both sides as I don't want them near it--they are not gardeners. But I doubt I'd plant it again--it's 28 years old--because of the maintenance.

No wooly adelgid tho that exists in my town and region. The deer have started to browse it so now I have to spray with Liquid Fence.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 9:35AM
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