Hedges add beauty to your garden, but you will have to trim them regularly to maintain their great appearance. With the use of essential supplies and special trimming techniques, you can keep your hedges neat and in perfect order. Read along and discover the proper ways on how to cut hedges.
Get the Right Supplies
Regardless of the height of your hedges, it is important to use certain tools that are necessary for this project. Among the different supplies that you should prepare include a mallet, some stakes, string, scissors, tape measure, pruning and headge shears. If you are trimming larger hedges, though, you should use a string and carpenter’s level to maintain symmetry of your hedges. In case you plan to use power tools, you should wear safety glasses or goggles, ear protection, gloves and dust mask to protect yourself from debris and intense level of noise.
The Basics on Hedge Trimming
To ensure the dense growth and perfect shape of your hedges, light trimming or pruning should be done regularly. Trimming is also advisable when you are planning to grow lower hedges. Be sure to trim the top parts to encourage the hedge to fill-out and become denser in quality. On the other hand, higher hedges should only be trimmed when they are already well-developed.
Generally, pruning must be done during autumn or spring, or when the plant is at the peak of its growth. Winter pruning may also be necessary for deciduous hedges since these plants respond well during this season.
Keeping Your Hedges Straight
Most people find it challenging to maintain a consistent and straight cut as they trim their hedges. To attain the right level of the hedges, you may use certain pieces of equipment such a string, which should be attached between two stakes. You may use these tools as a guide to ensuring accuracy and consistency when cutting the hedges.
If you need to cut a wide hedge, be sure to trim at least half of its width beginning with one side before moving on to the other. You may also taper the sides of the hedge to about 15 or 20 degrees. Keeping the hedge tapered a little bit towards the top will enable rainwater and light to reach the ground and lower foliage, which can ensure their proper growth.
The best time to clip hedging species is during their early stage, as this will enable their denser growth. After planting certain species such as the lonicera, box, and other evergreens, you may already trim them by at least one-third to attain a thicker base. Moreover, this technique will prevent the hedge from having a few gaps or leafless trunks. Be sure to prune regularly, so you can achieve the right height while maintaining the neat appearance of your hedge. Regular trimming can also prevent having woody ends in your hedge as you cut into thicker stems.
Tips on Cutting Different Sizes of Hedges
When you need to trim medium-sized hedges, the best tool to use is a petrol-powered hedge trimmer. This powerful tool allows you to move freely and eliminate the hassles of having any cables restricting your movement. However, if you only have a small yard, then an electric hedge trimmer may be your best bet. Just be sure to choose a unit that comes with a low-noise type of electric motor, particularly when you live close to other gardens. A cordless model is an even better option since you can move with ease without having to deal with a noisy power trimmer.
As you cut medium hedges or those that are within your chest level, the very first thing to do is to cut the side portion vertically. Then, move in a sweeping motion, specifically in an arc-shaped manner. Walk forward as you trim these areas, and be sure to cut straightly along the entire length of the hedge. To speed up your work, choose a hedge trimmer that comes with a double-sided blade. This way, you can cut more as you move the trimmer up and down.
As for taller hedges, you can use a hedge trimmer with long-reach features. This tool is also essential for very wide hedges since it spares you from the hassle of using a working platform just to reach high areas. You may even choose this type of trimmer that comes with a swivelling cutting head, as this enables you to set the angle when trimming across flower borders or the top part of the hedge.
Guide to Trimming and Shaping Hedges
For new hedges, the best time to prune them is during their early stages. This way, you will be able to maintain the right shape of the hedge while preventing an unhealthy and thin growth. However, the amount you will need to prune still depends on the specie of hedge you have in your yard.
Shaping may also be done as early as possible whether the hedge is already established or quite new. You should taper the hedge to keep the bottom part wider than the top. After all, the lower part should also receive a good amount of sunlight to achieve its good health and abundant growth.
When your hedges are already established, you need to trim them regularly to keep them neat and visually appealing. Use stakes and a string as guides to keeping the hedge in perfect shape, or you may simply cut without these tools once you are already well-versed in trimming the hedge.
The Right Time to Trim Your Hedges
Primarily, the time of the year to trim hedges depends on the plant’s specie. For instance, evergreens may be trimmed during spring and autumn or from May to September, and you may do so at least thrice a year. However, frequently trimming is required for fast-growing conifers to prevent them from becoming too dense. As for hornbeam, beech, and stocky deciduous hedges, trimming is ideal in late August. If there is a need for major improvement of the plant’s appearance, cutting the plant while it is dormant such as in late February, may be ideal.