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Hedges/Shrubs against walls

A question... do any of you have to maintain a hedge against the wall of a building with a gap (the suggested is 10cms) between the wall and the shrub/hedge? - These shrubs/hedges go all round the building, creating the gap is one thing, maintaining it year on year is quite another - also it being a local authority building the rubbish we find on site rivals anything you would find clearing the verges of a main road - creating a litter store behind the hedges will increase that problem 10 fold. Apparently the landlord has insisted on this.  Thanks

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  • PRO

    We do this with quite a few sites, we have only found one way of keeping them clear and that's by using a blower to blow it all out and and separate the rubbish from brash. I was stabbed by a used hypodermic needle earlier this year that was hidden in the debris so now it all goes to land fill. We create the gap using a long reach at a 45' angle.

  • Common practice on a lot of sites I used to tend. A 30 or 40 inch trimmer blade is your friend. If litter is part of your job make sure you allow time to litter pick it. You won't have space to properly blow it clean. 

    First visit you need to allow time to trim around wires, aerial cables, ridding eyes, drainpipes etc. My tip is cut back as hard as you can initially.

    Phrase your agreement as "10cm plus"... you don't want a pedant shouting that it's 15cm!

  • PRO

    Thank you both.... I now can see that this is (relitively) common requirement  - though given some of those hedges are pyracantha and berberus its not going to be a nice job !

    • Ouch! I often wish such species weren't allowed to exist!

      • PRO

        Specs often state such clearances .. and below window sills, away from doors, lights & car park kerbs etc 

        Such plants are often purposely specified by landscape architects.

        Not much fun handling and planting them on new builds :(

  • PRO

    I have a regular customer with a five foot tall and a good 3 foot deep pyracantha hedge all along the walls of his property.

    It is very mature thick growth, which is hard work to reduce the width and there is no gap between the hedge and walls, but there are several cables which are bare and need great care to hand trim around in order to avoid cutting them.

    it is a job  that i really dislike.

    i understand the 10cm gap would be to prevent damp inside the property, have i understood that correctly ?


    thank you very much.


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