Renovation pruning inevitably results in ugly bare patches, but re-growth should be sufficiently rapid to hide these within one or two growing seasons.
Where holes or bare patches have developed in conifer hedges intolerant of renovation, it may be possible to tie in a new branch to that bare area in order to cover it.
Brown patches can be a problem in some species of conifer hedge for one or more reasons. Environmental factors, pruning at an inappropriate time of year, aphids or fungal diseases may be to blame.
When reducing the height of a long hedge, it can be difficult to get a straight line along the top. Painting an indicator line of whitewash along the hedge just above the point of cutting may help. Alternatively, set up a string line along the hedge to act as a cutting guide.
If recovery seems poor after the first or second stage of renovation, delay the next stage for a further year to give the hedge time to re-shoot.