I have a small, very old, privet hedge that needs to be
renovated by cutting it back severely. Also, there are 3 large
privets that need the same treatment. When should this severe
pruning be done and how far should they be cutback?
Mid-March is generally the best time to perform radical
renovation of most shrubs, including privet and privet hedges (Ligustrum
spp.). We are generally past the worst of winter’s cold by then,
and they will begin to push new growth as the weather warms in
spring. Privet can tolerate being cut back very hard, to within
a few inches of the ground.