Help with Podocarpus Hedge


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Hello everyone. I am a complete noobie when it comes to plants, literally zero experience or knowledge. About a year ago I had a podocarpus hedge planted along my fence to try and give us some privacy. The trees have grown from being about 3 feet tall, to somewhere around 6 feet tall in that time. The problem I am having is that they arent growing WIDE at all, and leave so much room for visibility.

I realize that they might just be too young still and need time, but I also realize that maybe by now they should be wider and I just dont have a clue. So I come here for some advice. Do I just let them grow and do there thing, or is there anything I can do to promote them filling in and growing wider? Should I be pruning? If so how?
Thanks!

 
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Podocarpus are of the conifer family so careful pruning is needed. At this point I would only take the tops off and this will encourage them to fill out. Locate the shortest one and take six inches to one foot off, then bring the others down to the same level.
 
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Ok I can do that. So leave the insides intact, dont touch. What about some fertilizer? How long do you think it will take before they grow nice and thick?
 
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I would leave the side growth intact for the time being. The problem with conifers - if you cut to far into the side growth it doesn't usually re-grow. At this point I think fertiliser will make them put on further top growth. Once you have pruned I would leave them until autumn/fall to see how much side growth they have put on and re-assess the situation then. Keep them watered during long spells of hot dry weather as they are thirsty trees.
 

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