So I have a little update on my recent pruning. I had pruned half of the bushes in the front yard hoping that they would come back a little fuller but I was worried about doing the whole run of bushes. I didn't want to spend the whole summer with no screening from the street. That was two and half months ago and the bushes have already sent out a lot of new growth:
Here you can see one of the branches that I cut and the new shoots coming out.
I decided to do the rest of the bushes. The ones that I had left alone hadn't started to send out any new growth so I figured I still had a chance to clean them up.
It looks pretty dense but there are only leaves on the ends of 5 and 6 foot branches. I was afraid that if I let them grow for another year they would be all branch and very little leaf.
I got a new tool that made the job a lot easier. It's like a long one-handled lopper. It extended my reach about 5 feet.
I still had to crawl under the bushes on the downhill side to be able to reach most of the branches. Here's what it looked like when I started:
Half of it was dead stuff that I had to clear out. The fire department will be happy.
Here's where I stopped. I cut about half of it out. I figure that I can do the other half next year after it's filled in a little.
Here's the before again from the top:
And the after:
It feels much better. The old looming branches were looking a little Grey Gardens.
The area that I cut is a little difficult to see in this photo from the street, but it's directly below the palm tree. I would like to have the bushes be much more compact and not cantilevering out over the street.
I also decided to clean up the bushes on the side yard. These grow so fast that it's hard to keep up with them. One day I would like to replace the fence that is slowly sagging into the neighbors yard. I think the bushes have contributed to the degradation of the fence. In strong winds they really whip back and forth and have managed to pull one of the fence posts out of its footing.
It's also covering my wall planters that are hanging from the fence.
It looks so different now. You can see more of the view and the whole yard feels more open.
One day I'll tackle the rest of it but I need to get on a ladder in my neighbor's yard to reach most of it. I might be easier to do once the old fence comes down.