This year in March I planted a privet hedge. Most plants were about 80 cm (2.5 feet).
The plants look alright now:
But the bottom half is still mostly bare of leafs and new branches. I noticed some leafs started growing in the lower section of the plant, but very timidly.
I've heard conflicting facts about this, someone told me the plant should be cut to half the height for it to thicken in the bottom part as well, someone else told me to leave it alone, as it will thicken all over eventually.