Thursday, 17 September 2015

Hedge Trimming Tips

Lots of people have trouble trimming their hedges and keeping it even so this is a few tips for you to keep your hedges looking neat and tidy.

When to Trim your Hedges

New hedges require formative pruning for the first few years usually carried out in winter or spring after which trimming starts. Usually you will need to trim informal hedges once a year but twice or possibly three times for formal bushes.


Hand held shears are fine for smaller hedges but when it comes to big ones you'll probably want a powered hedge trimmer. If you're using an electric hedge trimmer make sure you place the lead over your shoulder to avoid it getting accidentally cut. Always wear goggles and work gloves when using power tolls and never place them over your shoulder height. For larger bushes use a step ladder or platform just ensure whatever your using is stable.

Trimming Techniques

Even vigorous Hedges don't need to exceed two feet wide if they are regularly trimmed. Formal hedges should be lightly tapered on both side so the base is wider than the op. This will help it grow as more light can reach the bottom this way. Cutting straight edges by eye can be difficult so use something to help you. Pushing stakes or canes into the ground may help for vertical lines while horizontal strings between them will help for horizontal lines. To shape your hedge, for example with an arch, it is much easier to do with A template cut out of what it is you want with cardboard or plywood and follow it. When using shears keeping the blades parallel to the line if the hedge. When using a trimmer keep the blade parallel to the hedge and use a wide sweeping motion working from the bottom to the top of the hedge to ensure all foliage falls. For informal hedges just remove misplaced shoots and cut the hedge back to its required size.

Trimming Different Plants

Upright Plants

Cut plants to 15-30 cm and in summer trim side branches lightly to encourage bushing out. In the second year cut the growth back by half and throughout the summer trim the side so it tapers to the top.

Stocky Plants

On planting, cut back shoots and sides by one third to a well placed bud and repeat this in the second winter.

Conifers and most evergreens

On planting leave the leading shoot unpruned cutting back any straggly side shoots. In summer trim side shoots and tie the leader to a supporting cane as it grows. Clip to the desired shape one to three times during summer.

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