Some hedges don’t do well with extensive trimming and pruning. Your email address will not be published. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Gardens Illustrated terms and conditions and privacy policy. How to prune a wildlife hedge. You may want to lay down some sheeting underneath the hedge first, so you can easily clean up. Learning how to trim a hedge can be tricky when you first get started. Usually, you want to trim your hedge when it starts to look untidy. Just get a different tall hedge plant instead. Remove prunings from the hedge as you go, so they don’t get in the way. 1 Use loppers to remove one-third of the older stems, so sunlight can penetrate the hedge's interior. If you have a fast-growing hedge, you should try to cut less off it each time, but cut it more frequently. A sheared hedge should always be wider at the bottom and narrower at the top, whether that top is flat, pointed, or rounded. 3. 2 Find long stems that grow out of hedge, and snip them close to the ground. Learn how to trim your hedge to grow bushier, fuller, and thicker. Overall, you never want to cut a hedge back too much, or it could become unhealthy. Once hedges have been established and have started to grow larger, they can be trimmed for shape. Photographs Gavin Kingcome. When using a hedge trimmer, keep the blade parallel to the hedge and use a wide, sweeping action working from the bottom of the hedge upwards, so that the cut foliage falls away; Informal hedges. Before pruning, disinfect shears in a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water, because diseases can be an issue regardless of the pruning time. But with a little practice, most people can trim a hedge like an expert. You can trim non-flowering shrubs anytime except late autumn when any new growth the plant has after trimming won't have time to mature before it goes dormant. Start by trimming the top face of the hedge to create a plane that is flush with the top guide strings. Starting along the top, begin shaping your hedge. After a few years the frame will disappear inside the shape. If there are, and your hedge trimming might disturb them, wait until the chicks have fledged before starting work. Here’s what you need to know about trimming hedges and how to tackle this task yourself. New growth will appear on the old bare branches within a few weeks. 4. With a pair of pruning shears, start making cuts away from the terminal buds that are at a 45-degree angle, ¼ inch above the next highest bud. 4 Continue cutting older stems, but leave new growth. Step away from the hedge every few minutes to get a wide view of it. Quick-growing conifers will need about three cuts per year during the growing season, at roughly eight week intervals. Late summer is the best time to prune wildlife hedges – we show you how to do it. The best hedges come in an A-shape design that allows sunlight to get right down to the roots. You can unsubscribe at any time. You trim hedges slightly more narrowly at the top than the base to make sure that the bottom leaves get more light. The base must be trimmed wider than the tip. You can trim the top with a hedge trimmer and a ladder. DON’T Be tempted to cut straight lines ‘by eye’; some kind of hedge clipping guide is needed. It may be more convenient to use a mechanical trimmer with a cutting blade that you can adjust to the desired angle. If you cut near the top of the hedge, it’ll just end up growing back fast. Every ten minutes or so, stop pruning and walk around the hedge to see what the overall shape is. As new branches and leaves start to grow out, you can prune them as needed. If you're used to buying our magazine from the shops, you can now order and receive the next issue delivered to your home, A balance of traditional and contemporary planting design, The type of hedging plants, and the style of your garden, will dictate how and when to cut it. If you want to completely renovate the Photinia red robin, then you will have to drastically cut it Suppose you just moved into a new house and in the yard there is … Not only is this convenient, it’s also the safest way to trim tall hedges. This may seem drastic for new plants, but if you don’t your hedge will always be thin and weedy at the base. Late spring, early fall,or winter (when the hedges are fully dormant) are the best times for pruning hedges. The height of the hedge could be reduced by about a third to approximately 2 metres, a manageable height. Hold the hedge trimmer firmly with two hands, Get close to the hedge and use a sweeping motion from side to side using your hips ensuring you keep the hedge trimmer still. Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. The hedge will look thin, but hold your nerve. The hedge will look thin, but hold your nerve. And you don’t want to potentially cause any damage to the hedge. You can use a chainsaw to trim a hedge and it will make quickly cut through shrubs and hedge plants. 15 Ways to Trim a Hedge in Your Yard. If you're used to buying our magazine from the shops,  you can now order and receive the next issue delivered to your home. To avoid losing control of your hedges, it is best to trim … How do you make sure it’s perfectly level? The ideal time to trim a cedar hedge is from early to late June, depending on your climate, after the lilacs have finished blooming. Many species of plant have diseases that are specific to them and if you know what your hedges are, it doesn’t take much research to discover the best medicines to counter the effects. Shape your hedge while trimming Like we said earlier, the best way to trim overgrown hedges is to pick and choose the areas you want to trim, instead of trimming for the same thickness all-round the hedge. Or maybe it’s that my shearing system seems to work right every time. This will eliminate any gouging or cutting the hedge unevenly. Hollies and Elaeagnus are the most robust plants for this. You can use your chain saw to trim your leaf-bearing hedges. If you trim the hedge completely square, it may not grow as healthy or as dense (this is more common with larger hedges). However, springtime is the best time to prune juniper shrubs. Method 2 – Once you work out the height you would like to achive move to the highest section at either end of the hedge. To avoid losing control of your hedges, it is best to trim … There's no beating about the bush. For you to trim the top of the hedge, using a ladder is recommended since it is difficult to the hedge’s top when your feet are on the ground. Follow these simple steps on how to trim hedges and how to prune shrubs: Shear the interior and other obvious problem areas first, then use a power trimmer to refine the shape. Ivy cut close to wire frames will give a more instant topiary look. You always need to make sure you know which variety of hedge you're dealing with before you even think about picking up the best hedge trimmer to tackle the job. By BBC Gardeners' World Magazine. Trim your hedge from the top to the bottom, and then stand away from it to make sure that it’s even. Once you have trimmed this section, move to the next section and use the section you just cut as the new reference height and continue to use the sweeping motion again. Evergreen ¬After planting, cut all of the stems to one third. With flowering shrubs and vigorous non-flowering ones (hawthorn and privet) hedge pruning should begin as soon as the hedge has been planted. Jan … As you trim, you can use the string trick to make sure that the hedge is entirely even. Hedge trimmers can offer a greater level of accuracy for this sort of project than can a chain saw. Choosing the right hedge trimmer is an important decision; the right machine will pay long-term dividends, no matter the size or scale of your task. Hedge and Shrub Trimming Tips A hedge trimmer with extended reach and a pivoting cutting head simplifies trimming tall hedges and shrubs as well as hard-to-reach areas of the plant. These can be used one-handed. When pruning conifer hedges (Thujas, Taxus, etc), do not wait too long between trims. Trees Develop a strong framework for your multi-stem tree by removing stems growing closer than 4 to 6 inches apart. If your hedge starts wilting, yellowing, or losing its leaves, hold off on trimming. You should trim it in Autumn and towards Winter dormancy, to avoid damaging any blossoms. The best results are achieved when the new growth (the lighter green part of the hedge) is cut back by one-third to one-half its length. Before using shears to trim your hedges, you need to first get rid of any overgrowth that may have resulted to the thickening of the area outside your hedge. Try not to cut a hedge back more than 30 percent of its size all at once. Know what type of species of hedge you have, and whether it’s fast-growing or slow-growing. 1. During the hedge’s second autumn, cut the leading shoot (the topmost branch) to your desired height. Trim out the hedge to a shape that allows sunlight to penetrate through the leaves. For example, the hedge should be narrower … Begin on one side of the hedge and trim back the branches until the bush is at the desired thickness. Evergreens and slow-growing deciduous plants (beech and hornbeam) should not be cut back after planting. We are here for you. The key to a neat, attractive hedge is to level the top first. The following autumn clip new growth back by half and start cutting hedge side shoots to the width you want the hedge to be. Hedge trimming can be more complicated than it looks. You can trim non-flowering shrubs anytime except late autumn when any new growth the plant has after trimming won't have time to mature before it goes dormant. Find out here how to get your hedge into shape the correct way. Do this in late winter. If you start to see leaf discolouration that spreads through the plant, that’s often a clear sign that something is taking hold. Low growing hedges used for parterres, knot gardens or as borders around vegetable beds can be kept neat by trimming twice a year. Once you have a couple of hedge under your belt you will be able to move along the hedge quite fluidly. A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest. This makes it a lot easier to create a neat and straight edge when pruning a hedge. Tall hedges are difficult to maintain, particularly at the top. At this point, it has pretty much finished growing for the year, but its new growth will still be a lighter green than the previous year’s stems. You likely are itching to get outside and spruce up your yard. Hedge trimming improves the aesthetics of the plants. If this is not possible, there may not be enough green growth, it would be better to replace the hedge. The better your tools, the less likely you are to potentially damage the hedge, or potentially hurt yourself. Method 1 – Using stakes and string, you can string along a straight line along the top of the hedge. Hedge trimming improves the aesthetics of the plants. The hedge will grow more dense instead of looking spindly if you do not allow it to shoot up very fast. Trim your hedge closely after it reaches the desired height and width. of the ground. Below are the steps to trim your hedge: 1. Snip overgrown branches and limbs inside each bush. See the best equipment to use and know the right time to prune the plants. The best time to trim a hedge is during the active, growing season. Reduce the height of the plants by about one third. For topiary, you can use ordinary garden shears, but topiary shears give a great finish. It isn’t just about using clean, sharp tools, but you also need to use the right tools. If you're dealing with a smaller hedge, the environmentally friendly, low-tech option is a decent pair of hedging shears. Hedges require formative pruning on planting, plus maintenance trimming to keep them within bounds. Snip shrubs into shape with our easy-to-follow tips. Discover some of the most glorious gardens from around the world.Find out more, Already have an account with us? 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