Proper pruning is the key to growing a thick privet hedge. Pruning allows sunlight to reach the lower branches and the inside of the plant to encourage a thicker growth. With electric shears and lopping pruners, you can quickly and effectively prune your privet hedge.
Remove approximately half the growth since the last pruning. In addition to shaping with electric shears or scissor shears, use lopping pruners to remove some of the internal growth. Hedges tend to grow wider at the top, but you should trim them so they are wider at the bottom. This inverted "V" shape, with a flat top, allows sunlight to reach the lower branches, encouraging thicker growth.
Prune privet hedges four to five times during the growing season. Prune after the flowers form and again each month during the growing season.
Privet normally provides a thick, impermeable hedge that provides privacy in areas where a fence is not permitted. The plant is not evergreen in most of the United States and loses its leaves during the colder months. Privet is poisonous and considered an invasive plant in many areas of the United States. Without trimming, it grows 15 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide.