Installing a Lengthy Privet Hedge

So I think I’ll be installing a privet hedge next month. For economy, I’m going to order 150-300 plants that are stated to be 1 to 2 feet tall, and I assume bare root. Everything I’ve read about planting Ligustrum amurense for a hedge says plant 18 inches apart, and dig a trench, not individual holes.

I’m doing three sides of a property for privacy, noises barriers and barriers for my dogs, and haven’t sorted out the exact length I’ll be doing, but I know it will be 200 to 400 feet. My question is has anyone else installed several hundred feet of hedge? Did you dig individual holes, or do the trench deal? If it’s holes, I thought about renting a fencepost auger, and if it’s the trench, how did you dig it?

Thats a lot of digging either way … You might hire a trencher,
You hire a quite narrow trench digger, which makes a 4 inch wide channel, you then squash the roots into the 4 inch channel…

Feel free to dig by hand any which way you like, or hire a 1 foot wide bucket to dig the trench, but the end result is either a pain in the back or pain in the back pocket to do that.

Moderator Action

Since this is asking for personal experiences, it is better suited to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

This guy Says you need a trench and individual holes. Step by step instructions. It sure looks like hard work.

Yeah, that’s my problem, I got your guy and then I’ve got another guy on the internet that says something like they are “usually” planted in trenches. I was wondering about people that didn’t go the “usual” route. But your guy gave me an idea, if I get rent a sod stripper, that shouldn’t be too bad, and then take my own rototiller over the soil, I might wind up with what will effectively be a trench filled with loose dirt that I can dig in more easily.

But I got about a month to go before I start this project, so I’ll still be looking for planting advice.

I’m assuming for mechanized equipment, it’s a lot quicker and simpler to dig a trench. I doubt the roots care what the shape of the hole is, and unless the type of plant suckers (and you want that to happen inside the hedge line), the shape of the roots and their hole is irrelevant to the leafy green portion.

In case it’s a consideration, planting in a trench makes it easier to install drip irrigation.

I have first hand experience with this. In 2003 I started what was to become a 120 foot long curved privet hedge. In my case I wanted a tall hedge to block the view on the opposite side and I did not want to have to keep it trimmed. Let the plants grow as tall and wild as possible to get density.

For the first 50 feet I hand dug fairly wide but not too deep holes and planted my young sprigs in two rows with plants about 4 feet apart. If you looked at this from the top it looks like a zig-zag pattern with all plants equally spaced. In 2007, for the last 70 feet, I had a backhoe with a two foot bucket come in and trench out a four foot wide by foot deep trench. Sprigs were planted in the same zig zag way with four foot spacing.

It took a while but by 2014 the entire length looks about the same. All plants are from 12 to 14 feet high and a cross section at four feet high is probably eight feet thick – completely opaque.

My advice would be to get a trenching device of some kind to ease your digging. But more importantly, do not set your plants too close together! My four foot spacing looked totally wrong in 2003 but those plants filled that space and if I were to do this again I would space them five feet apart in the two rows.

Incidentally, you use two rows in case a plant dies. There will be another plant in front or behind to continue the screening function.

This thread literally gave me cold shivers. I’m fighting a losing battle against a privet invasion of my yard. I can’t imagine anyone around here planting the stuff, we spend all our time ripping it out.

I meant to type - Hey, qualityleashdog, why don’t you let me save you a bundle of cash? Come on over to my place and you can have 10 times that number of plants, any size! Just dig it up and haul it away!

Well, then, maybe my first thought for a solution would work for you… “how much would 400’ of primacord cost”?