A fire destroyed about 40cm of the upper part of my Thuja hedge. I have 2 questions:
- Should I cut off the burnt branches to help regrowth or can I leave it as it is?
- How long will it take to grow the 40cm back again?
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Should I cut off the burnt branches to help regrowth or can I leave it as it is?
Yes. Cut the burned and dead branches back to the last growing point (branch, trunk). This will open up the dead area for the new growth to fill in, and also let in light to stimulate growth in dormant buds (if any are there).
How long will it take to grow 40cm again?
This is really hard to answer, because it varies considerably and is dependent on many factors, but generally, a healthy thuja should make it in less than two years. Some varieties grow faster than others.
If you leave the dead parts on, the plant will not regrow properly. Fire is hard on any tree. If there is a way to prevent future occurrences, I'd recommend that you take those steps. If you have a burn-barrel or the like nearby, move it, and so on.