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How To Plant Bare Root Privet Hedge

How To Plant Bare Root Privet Hedge

Privet Hedge, a bare root plant, is best planted in the winter. Not only do most winter hedges get off to a great start in the spring (and require less watering in the summer that follows), but they may also save you money. You may buy bare-root plants, root-wrapped in ten packs from garden centres or order in bulk from nurseries.

Because a bare root tree is only accessible in the mid-to-late fall, the optimal time to prepare the ground is in the early autumn. Although it may seem self-evident, bare-rooted hedging plants are precisely what their name implies: a plant with exposed roots rather than being enclosed by dirt.

Between November and April, known as the dormant season in horticulture, bare roots are accessible.


Bare root trees are available for purchase in the spring and should be planted soon. Proper planting is required for their survival and long-term sustainability. It’s important to mention that bare-root plants take a long time to “wake up.” Four to six weeks after planting, you should see signs of growth.

And we’ll talk about how to plant them throughout the article.

Let’s get started;

Are you caring for Bare Root Privet Hedge after buying it?

Bare-root privet hedges are generally less costly during the spring and summer than those sold in pots or covered in burlap. They generally come in a more excellent range of colours and are easy to purchase and send.

  • If you’ve already purchased bare-root plants and determined that they’re okay to plant outdoors, you’ll need to look after them while you wait. Plant them in quality potting soil and keep them in a cold, dark spot as a garage light should be provided to the plants, but they should be protected from extreme cold.
  • Sow bare-root plants before you observe new growth. The light should be provided to the plants, but they should be protected from cold temperatures. Cover them to avoid frost damage. Keep the roots moist.
  • Between November and April, known as the dormant season in horticulture, bare roots are accessible.
  • In the spring, barefoot plants are available for purchase and must be planted as soon as possible. Their survival and long-term viability are dependent on proper planting. It’s worth noting that bare-root plants need a long time to “wake up.” You should expect to see evidence of growth four to six weeks after planting.

Care Before Planting


Apart from the part mentioned above, you will also need to consider;

  • Check whether the packing paper, sawdust or peat moss around the roots is damp as you open the container. To wet it, spray it with water if it seems dry. Don’t soak it entirely.
  • Plant within a day or two for optimal results. Keep the roots wet and prevent the plants from freezing. Leave plants in their packaging and set them in an excellent, dark location if you need to postpone planting for a few days.
  • Remove the packing paper from the roots and soak them for 30 to 60 minutes, but no more than two hours, in a pail of tepid water. Before and during planting, keep the roots wet at all times.

How To Plant A Bare Root Privet Hedge

The Bare Root Privet Hedge tree is a beautiful addition to your garden. Privets, naturally thick, fast-growing evergreens, respond to cutting, shearing, and filling to provide a visual screen. If you receive privet plants by mail, understanding how to care for them once they arrive and when to plant them might help assure a successful outcome.

Step 1: Soil Preparation

Keep the roots covered while preparing the ground for your Privet Hedge plants, mainly the Bare Root Privet Hedge. Before they go into the ground, you want to expose them as little as possible.

Include a lot of high-quality compost or organic materials, including well-rotted garden compost, manure, mushroom compost, or decomposed bark. The soil will settle and still be usable when you come to plant your hedge if you conduct this preparation 4-6 weeks ahead of time.

You can offer your Privet Hedge hedge the most excellent chance of growing by minimising competition for nutrients. Grass, weeds, brambles, and other plants should be removed from the area where the hedge will be planted.

Privet may be found practically anyplace. It can withstand strong winds, direct sunlight, partial shade, light, dry, and sandy soil. It can withstand practically anything except very wet soil. 

Any hedging plants’ roots will not be harmed. Although bagged compost can be utilised, it is best employed as a soil amendment.

Step 2: Making Trench in the Soil

Plant a Privet Hedge bare root at least ten inches wide in a ditch. Instead of digging individual holes, create a trench and space your plants between eighteen inches and two feet. Create a trench twice the width and a few inches deeper than the root ball.

Make a planting trench large enough for the roots to spread out in. Sprinkle mycorrhizal fungus over the moist roots and mix with the excavated soil if used since they are beneficial to bare-root plants.

You should widen the trench by one or two feet for plants higher than four feet. Providing the roots with enough space to spread out should be sufficient.

If the soil is poor or challenging, use Rootgrow and feed at the bottom of the hole. By growing a secondary root system in symbiosis with the plant’s roots, Rootgrow is an important mycorrhizal fungus that aids in the development of robust root systems.

The soil at the trench’s bottom must be loose enough for the roots to penetrate. While digging your trench, use a fork to turn over the dirt, especially if you’re using a digger, which compacts the soil.

Step 3: Planting

Layout the hedge in a staggered row, four plants per metre, or 30cm apart in a zig-zag pattern. Planting through woven weed cloth, melt a spade-width slot with a cook’s blowtorch (the kind used for crème brûlées). This keeps the cloth from fraying and melting the slot’s edges together.


Dig a vertical groove in the earth with a spade and lever it open with a back and forth motion. Then, push the plant into the slot, spread its roots as wide as possible, and heel in by closing the gash on the roots.

Plant each privet with a bit of variance in stem depth of an inch or two. This, ideally, will stimulate more rooting. Another advantage of younger plants is that they generate new roots more quickly than older ones. Planting them a little deeper also aids in their uprightness.

Step 4: Trimming and pruning

Make sure to cut down deciduous plants to make them grow from the bottom up. Cut back hawthorn, blackthorn, and privet to about 30cm high. Evergreens don’t need to be cut back yet. Most hedge plants don’t need to be pruned after they’re planted.

In late spring or early summer, trim your Privet Hedge hedge to cover any leaves that look “tatty” after using a hedge trimmer. This is because the hedge will grow new shoots very quickly at this time of year. Secateurs can be used to cut down a small hedge. A hedge trimmer can be used to cut down an enormous hedge. They don’t need to be cut until the second year when they can be softly trimmed to form.

A dense hedge will grow faster if the annual growth of deciduous hedges is shorter in the next few years. Evergreens don’t need to be cut back until the second year when the sides can be lightly cut to make them look better. Give the top of your new hedge its first cut below the height you want it to be.

You can do so if you want to cut down a deciduous hedge in the middle or end of summer. If you want to cut down an evergreen hedge in the spring or fall, you should do so in the early spring or early fall.

On our website or in our catalogue, we list the best times to trim each type of hedge.

Common Problems With Bare Root Privet Hedge trees

To plant a new private hedge, dig a two-foot-wide by a two-foot-deep trench, spacing each shrub about 12 inches apart, and fill the trench up to the branching trunk. In the first year, water thoroughly and regularly using drip irrigation.

Trim your privets back 6 inches every time they add a foot of new growth. However, trimming should be discontinued in late summer to prevent stimulating autumn growth that may be harmed by cold. Even if a formal hedge is intended, each stem should be pruned individually when privets are young, and shearing should be avoided until their third season.

While these trees are drought-tolerant, black foliage may indicate dehydration. If this occurs, thoroughly clean the area. Ascertain that the soil is not excessively moist, as this may result in additional problems. Grey leaves are a warning sign of overwatering, which may result in root rot and fungal diseases. Reduce watering if you observe grey leaves. If your soil isn’t draining adequately, try adding sand to help in this process.


How far apart should you plant bare-root hedging?

  • Secateurs should be used to lightly clip the roots of bare-root plants to promote new solid development.
  • Create a V-shaped trench as deep as the roots of the plant.
  • Plant at 45cm intervals in the trench – this spacing is suitable for most hedging plants.

How long can you leave bare root hedging before planting?

Young plants must have their place to acquire moisture, nutrients, and light, which is why weeds and grass must be kept away from the hedge for the first two or three years.

Is Golden privet toxic?

Privet berries are harmful to both people and dogs, and the leaves may be much more deadly in significant numbers. The presence of terpenoid glycosides causes toxicity.


When your plants are established and ‘filled out,’ most of the job is done; they should be healthy and thrive. When the roots grow more profound, the fertiliser becomes accessible, providing a significant boost to the plant. We suggest an annual feed and spring mulch to sustain the hedge in peak shape.

For the first year, bare-root trees will most likely need stakes. Ensure that the stakes are positioned in an undisturbed area around the plant when staking.

As previously said, carefully spread your seeds to allow your Bare Root Privet Hedge to flourish.

Best of Luck!!