About a year and a half ago I moved into a new home with a large cedar hedge (not sure of species, so will include an attached image I just scanned in of a piece of it I just broke off a few minutes ago in the next post). The hedge is about 14 feet high at its highest and perhaps about 7 feet thick at its thickest and has not been well maintained by the previous owners on either side so it is pretty wild in places (I have trimmed back some on my side but the other side is quite rough indeed). The survival of this hedge is very important to me and my family as it provides considerable privacy to us in our very small backyard. All was fine until last fall when a fellow bought the property behind us and knocked down the old, medium sized house and put up a very large home in its place that fills nearly the entire property and is now very close to our property (though still within legal limits). The cedar hedge becomes even more important now if we are to have any privacy at all. There is another problem with the new development - the new owner has elevated the whole backyard of his property considerably (approaching a 2 foot rise at the house) and, with our lower windows at only a few inches above ground level, we (and some other neighbours) are concerned about potential flooding since the backyard of the property behind us used to flood quite a bit before the new owner came in (which is undoubtedly why he brought in so much earth to rise elevate it so much). The survival of the cedar hedge becomes even more important as I understand it is a significant water sink and so could help prevent flooding. The hedge trunks are a good one foot on our property but the hedge overhangs the new neighbourâ€™s property considerably, perhaps 50% of the total hedge by volume. Legally, he can cut the hedge to the property line in one go, and indeed this is what I undesratnd he was planning on doing until I objected. He clearly still wants to cut the hedge right back to the property line and put in a solid fence just his side of the property line and he would obviously like to do it right away. I have been told, and I relayed the message to the new owner, that if one kills vegetation owned by a neighbour, you are liable legally, even if one can legally cut to the property line right away. I suspect (but donâ€™t know, hence this posting) the solution is that he cut back a modest amount each year for, say, five years, until the hedge is pushed back far enough to put in his desired fence. So my questions are these - how much of a cedar hedge of this variety can be cut at once without killing or seriously damaging the plant? - Should the pruning (if that is what it is called when so much is to be removed) be spread over several years for the hedge to recover (the inside of the hedge is largely dead of course with the greenery on the outside portions only)? - What time of year should the pruning be done to minimize the damage to the hedge? Any other advice you can provide would be much appreciated â€“ if I donâ€™t come up with a plan soon, I am afraid the new neighbour will simply handle it quickly himself in the manner most convenient for his fence installation.