Pruning the Invasive Euonymus Hedge

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

How to follow up that previous, super exciting post on woodchipping?! Well, with even more exciting content, such as pruning an overgrown (and poorly pruned) euonymous hedge. This is the content you're all dying to read, I know.

Euonymus Hedge - pruned

We have a rather large, rather sparse euonymus hedge that we hadn't pruned since we moved into the house. It was looking pretty shabby with tons of fly-aways on top, branches to smack you in the face on yopur way into the garage basement, and a groundhog that chewed the leaves off of the branches around his home entrance. Upon inspection I realized the entire interior of the hedge was dead, which suggests the landscapers hired by the previous owners likely only did "shaping" pruning for the past 15 years. This results in a shrub with thick outer foliage that blocks all sunlight and air to the interior, thereby killing off everything inside.

Euonymus Hedge - prunings

So, what to do? Some research and these helpful videos suggests that this euonymus is invasive, and unlikely to die better to rejuvenatively prune now than not at all. I also am not overly concerned about not having this hedge flower this year, so I decided to prune liberally before it even had a chance to flower. I cut nearly every long growing vine back to the first double-set of leaves/buds. I removed all the dead vines I could find. Broke off dead sticks, sawed off dead trunks. Cleared out as much as I could to get more sunlight and air into the interior of the hedge. It's not perfect, but this year we'll consider a regrowing year. Next year, we'll consider shaping it.

You can already see the sunlight getting in there! Hopefully it thickens up over the next few years so we can get a solid hedge back.

Euonymus Hedge - pruned

The last task was just to burn the trimmings. So. Many. Trimmings. Can't have this invasive stuff overtaking the nearby park.

Burning Euonymus Hedge Clippings


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