Can my ice storm damaged hedge be saved?

A:

I suggest you do the normal maintenance pruning and preserve the hedge. Maintenance pruning involves:

  1. Remove all dead, damaged or diseased branches. This can be done at any time.
  2. Head-back any overly long branches.
  3. Thin the shrub by removing up to 1/3 of the branches back to their origination point. This should be done right after blooming.

By using this method each year, the shrubs will always have newer and healthier growth. Note that you should not remove more than 1/3 of the canopy in any given year. If one or more shrubs has been severely damaged (killing a portion of the canopy) take this into account when deciding how much of the healthy growth to remove. 

Here is a video that summarizes the basic strategy: How to Prune Dwarf English Laurels. Good luck with your hedge.

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