How to kill privet hedges

Written by david montoya
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How to kill privet hedges
Mature privet hedges are fairly resistant to herbicides. (Privet Hedge at Night image by Gary Chorpenning from

The privet hedge is a hearty plant that is often used as a barrier on property. Privet hedges also act as a sound barrier, wind barrier, and can even provide much needed shade during the summer. The plant has a tendency to spread quickly. The berries on the hedge are eaten by local bird life, which in turn spread the seeds of the berry around the same area. You can have privet hedges growing in multiple areas in a short period of time. To kill an unwanted privet hedge, you will need several gardening tools and some old-fashioned elbow grease.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pruning sheers
  • Saw
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow

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    Cutting Down Privet

  1. 1

    Cut off all the small branches on the privet using pruning sheers.

  2. 2

    Use a saw for the base of the plant and for the branches that are too big for the pruning sheers.

  3. 3

    Dig into the ground with a shovel to remove the root system of the privet. Cut into the root system by stomping down on the shovel while it is placed on top of the root. Remove small pieces of root at a time.

  4. 4

    Place all of the branches, roots and other remains of the tree in a wheelbarrow.

  5. 5

    Spray herbicide in the area from which the privet hedge was just removed to help prevent new privet from growing. Immature privet is more susceptible to the effects of herbicides.

  6. 6

    Haul the branches, roots, and other remains to a trash bin or preferably, if one is available to you, a greenery recycling bin or compost heap.

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