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Lollypop a Conifer?

Client I work for asked me to quote to skirt a leylandii hedge to give them more garden space particularly round a seating area.  They want to maintain the privacy the hedge gives them but want more space around the hedge.    Hedge is around 2.5m tall and well established, they want the branches removed from the lower 1.5m.  
I know will look a bit of a mess when looking up from underneath and that it is unlikely they can fill the gaps with other plants (other than in pots).  Am reluctant to do it as think likely will look bit of a mess but mainly as concerned it could kill the tree off.  Any thoughts?  

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  • PRO

    I have done something similar but only 1mtr, if you tell the customer what it will look like and leave the decision to them if you reiterate it again before starting you should be fine. The conifer will most likely just continue to grow upwards. But in reality the best thing for them is 3 inch fr the bottom!

  • some 5 foot tall fence panels screwed onto the ugly trunks might work

  • PRO

    I see no issues raising the canopy 

    leylandii are tough as boots and weren't die or suffer from this but more likely thrive. Manured the base if possible now and by spring summer when they put furniture under the smell will of gone 

  • This can be done and look good if it's done well. So don't quote too cheap and do a rush job. You need them to understand they might not have a perfectly straight bottom edge at first, at least they wouldn't if I did it. Without seeing the site it sounds like a good idea. Agree it won't kill the trees. I've niwaki pruned one of those and it's going strong years later.

    • PRO

      Is it a hedge a  row of conifers  or a solitary conifer forming some privacy David ?  

      For me it would depend on how much symmetry can be achieved after pruning and what dead bits will need lopping off to achieve something soft and pleasing to the eye . 

      Conifers can have a habit of weeping resin from the cuts which runs down the trunk , looks unsightly and sticky .

      on all ocassions i have done this job its looked good and achieved the objective of adding more space and more light but not always pleased the eye as its one of those jobs where you can only work with what you have on the tree .


      • definitely work from the bottom upwards, and across the whole length of the row rather than one conifer at a time well before you get near to the desired level. Ideally the resulting edge will be from branches that hang down slightly to form a skirt of foliage but they don't always grow like that !  If in doubt pull the branch downwards temporarily to imagine what it would look like if removed, One can always cut more off but not stick it back on

  • Thanks for the replies.  Will take the advise on board.  Client happy tongive it a ginwith the warning disclaimers have put in writing first.  They happy if does not work to simply remove it and start again with a new fence or different hedge so good to have some flexibility!  Thanks again will take the advise to work from bottom up across the hedge on board.  Cheers! 

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