Ligustrum Japonicum

Pruning the Privet

We have a hedge of Ligustrum Japonicum, commonly known as “privet” or “Japanese Privet”, on the northeast corner of our home in Tallahassee. The naturally multi-trunk tree has shiny, deep green leaves and white spring flowers. Our hedge includes five 15-year-old plants that bloom fragrant flowers every spring.

Pruning the Privet

This hedge grows a foot or more every year. I prune it back every summer before the buds set to try to keep it at about ten feet. Even at this height, it is a challenge to prune. Our lot slopes down from south to north so the bed has about a twenty-degree grade. Getting the ten-foot step ladder stable is always a bit of a puzzle. The hedge is about four feet wide, so reaching across to prune it evenly is also challenging.

I updated my yard toolset this summer with a new set of tools from Ego. I got the 20 inch hedge trimmer attachment for the Ego power-head. This is a pretty cool tool because it cuts up to one inch branches and can pivot at up to a 45 degree angle. It also has an extra 30 inch extension which makes pruning our very tall shrubs much easier. Having this made my annual “pruning the privet” much easier.

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