Privet Hedge Pruning at the Charlestown Navy Yard

A row of privet hedge ready to be pruned

During February 20th-21th, we pruned privet hedge along 2nd avenue in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The privet hedge is usually an invasive species like on the Boston Harbor Island, but in the Charlestown Navy Yard it is not.  The privet hedge was lions-tailing unbalances the crown by distributing foliage and future growth uncharacteristically toward branch ends. This can cause limbs to over-elongate. The team used pruners, loppers and handsaws to get the job done. Alex Sanchez, a gardener at the park at the Charlestown Navy Yard, began the process by using a hedge clippers to cut the privet hedge about a foot down. 

Alex plans on bring the privet hedge down another foot next year, so that the plant doesn’t get shocked by being cut down too much in a short period of time. The project was split up over the time period of 2 days. We started with the privet hedge in front of the Commandants Lawn, the next day we focus more on the old Military Barracks just next door to the Commandant’s House. Then the team came in and used the pruners and loppers to remove the dead wood and mechanically injured branches, to improve the amount of penetration sunlight can get through the hedge. Once a section of the privet was completed, we used steel rakes, shovels, and  a push broom to tidy up and clean that section. A highlight of this project was being able to see the progress of the privet hedge from before we started and after we have completed. A challenge was being able to lift up the yard waste buckets by the end of the day!

2 responses to “Privet Hedge Pruning at the Charlestown Navy Yard

  1. Dear School Year Ambassador, what a great project! This is a well-needed effort with lots of benefits for the health of the privet hedge and the character of the historic landscape. Thank you for your hard work. I sincerely hope Alex is able to prune the hedge next year, also.


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