David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Consequently, you’ll trim your hedge in How to Choose a Trimmer However in general, these are the optimum timings for pruning hedges: Deciduous hedges. The amount of lean is based on expected sun exposure: On the side that will face direct sun, make the lean relatively slight; on the shady side, make the lean more pronounced. Generally speaking, a non-flowering hedge should be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season, and less frequently as the weather cools. Whichever style you choose, pick one with blades large enough for efficient hedge trimming. Medium hedges. Finally, trim the ends of the hedge. Hold a long carpenter's level across the hedge, just touching the top strings, and adjust the strings if necessary so that they are level side-to-side. Fertilize your freshly pruned hedges to encourage new, healthy growth. According to Morrell, these German-made Berger hedge shears are the only model used to trim and shape the many hedges and bushes on the NYBG’s property. Can hedge shears be returned? For new hedges and flowering shrubs, trim them early and often to encourage healthy growth and to establish your desired shape. Products shown as available are normally stocked but inventory levels cannot be guaranteed, For screen reader problems with this website, please call 1-800-430-3376 or text 38698 (standard carrier rates apply to texts), Step 1: The first step is choosing the right types of hedge trimmers to fit your needs. Wavy-Serrated Blade Hedge Shears. Prune in the winter. This is the easiest way to get a crisp line on your hedge. With such long blades, hedge shears are designed to cut a much larger area with each stroke than any other pruning tool (unless you consider a machete a pruning tool). Step 2: Use a Hedge Trimmer To cut straight lines, you can use your house, siding or other objects as a guide. Attach a long string from one stake to the other, near the lowest branches on the shrubs. What is the best rated hedge shears product? Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. These shears are user-friendly and come in a range of sizes. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. 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. Now is the step where you will start taking action with the hedge shear. Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears. Need Help? Use handheld or electric hedge shears for this kind of pruning. Since hedges are usually intended to provide privacy, it is important that the shrubs be as full as possible from top to bottom. Get into the Action. Keeping tall or extra-wide hedges in trim, a long-reach hedge trimmer ... How to maintain and trim your hedge. The best way to deal with this is by using hand pruners to cut away the offending branches so that the guide strings can assume a straight line from one end of the hedge to the other. Formal Shrub Trimming Step 1: Plan Straight Lines In this first year, just "eyeball" the trimming pattern as you pinch back all new growth. All hedge shears can be shipped to you at home. Follow these simple steps on how to trim hedges and how to prune shrubs: When it comes to the art of trimming hedges, there are a few tricks for making them look great. DON’T Forget to Maintain Your Tools. This shape ensures that the lower branches along the sides of the shrubs aren't shaded by the upper branches—so they receive enough sunlight to grow and fill in the body of the hedge. ", Step 2: The tool of choice here is a pair of hand pruners, or even your fingertips. Slowly run the power trimmer along each side of the bush, little by little. What's the Best Time to Prune Evergreen Shrubs? Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. If you need some extra help trimming your hedges, consider renting hedge trimmers with our hedge trimmer rental to get your project done. Chea… Make sure the distance above the ground is the same from one side to the other. Whether you have a small set of bushes or a larger column of shrubs, trimming them regularly is important for a well-manicured lawn. Identify … Here are a few tips on how to trim bushes like a pro: Knowing how to trim bushes will save you time, money and increase the curb appeal of your home. 4. Even at this stage, though, take some pains to begin trimming back the upper branches a bit shorter than the lower branches. 1 Use loppers to remove one-third of the older stems, so sunlight can penetrate the hedge's interior. Start pruning at the bottom of the hedge and work your way up so that cut branches and leaves at the top can freely fall to the ground. Use your shears or a hedge trimmer to cut along the top. Local store prices may vary from those displayed. Drive a stake into the ground at one end corner of the hedge, using a hammer or mallet, The stake location should mark the spot where you want the bottom end corner of the hedge to fall. When you've finished trimming along the top, examine your work. The choice is entirely up to you. Angle the stake slightly so it "leans in" toward the top of the hedge. You can use a line level to adjust the string for level, if necessary. Non-flowering and evergreen hedges should only be trimmed as needed, but it's important to reshape them before they become overgrown to prevent weed growth. This is normal, and the trimming itself will stimulate new growth that will fill in these areas. For precision, you can measure the distance from the trunk or main stem of the nearest shrub to make sure the distance is the same for both stakes. The stake should be set in slightly from the reach of the longest branches. Dull blades can damage branches, creating tears that lead to … Hedges are made of multiple shrubs that have been planted closely in a straight row so that they neatly blend together. 5 Use hand pruners to thin stems. Aim for every 6-8 weeks, at minimum, during the warmer months and reduce frequently as the weather cools. This will allow sufficient sunlight to reach the bottom branches. For large limbs, a bucksaw can be used. When buying tools, usually you get what you pay for, so cheaper tools....usually are! Snip overgrown branches and limbs inside each bush. Wear safety gear for your hands and eyes. You need to consider the size of the branches and the … To retain a physical barrier, and to avoid shocking the plant, cut back one side of the hedge one year and the other side the next, especially on large hedges. After ​planting a hedge with boxwood or another shrub species, pinch back all new growth during the first year, which will induce low branching. Start by trimming the top face of the hedge to create a plane that is flush with the top guide strings. Place the template on the hedge and cut following the line of the template, moving it along as you proceed If the ground is level, you can be very precise by using a line level to check the orientation of the string and make sure it is perfectly horizontal. Related content: Watch our video guide to the basic pruning cuts. Make sure that you keep the … This guide will provide tips on how to prune shrubs and instructions on how to trim hedges. Trimming a mature hedge requires fairly simple tools. Goggles prevent all manner of debris from landing in your eyes, and there are a wide range of styles available depending on your budget and fashion sense. Video of the Day Volume 0% Get the Right Pruning Tools and Equipment. For this reason, and since they are straight, they create long, straight edges on your plant as they cut. Turn on the electric shears. Tip: See our hedge trimmers buying guide for a more detailed explanation of the options available to you. Trim your hedges. Formative pruning: In winter, just after planting, and for the first two years after planting ; Maintenance pruning: Each summer How to Trim Hedges This technique is appropriate for most mature hedge plants. Snip overgrown branches and limbs inside each bush. To facilitate this, now is a good time to feed them according to the needs of the species. Pruning bushes, shrubs and hedges all depends on the type of … Tall hedges. Pruning tools. The goal is to make sure the strings are straight and taut from end to end. Ready to find the supplies you need in your local store? Pruning saws are great for making sharp cuts through thicker branches. All Rights Reserved. Cut the shrub or hedge directly over the string or ribbon, cutting only as far back as the string position. Be very careful if you are pruning a tall hedge that requires the use of a stepladder. Keep your cuts as clean as possible to help the branches grow evenly and strong. 3. Summer-flowering shrubs should be trimmed in the late winter or early in the spring before active new growth is underway. This is best done with strings attached to wooden stakes driven into the ground at the ends of the hedge row. Be very careful if you are pruning a tall hedge that requires the use of a stepladder. Hand shears and loppers can be used for hard-to-reach areas and pronounced angles, or for a more defined finish along the top. Timing of pruning should take into account the potential for nesting birds (see 'Problems' section below). Use once, then bring it back - no maintenance required. For flowering hedges and shrubs, trimming will depend on when they bloom. You can usually get by with four guide strings—one at the top and one at the bottom of each side of the hedge. Step 4: Thinning This method reduces the bulk of a plant with minimal regrowth: Each cut removes an entire stem or branch, either back to its point of origin on the main stem or to the point where it joins another branch. Newly planted shrubs require a different strategy for the first year or two, until the shrubs reach a more mature stage. When to Prune Bushes, Shrubs & Hedges. Boxwood, a popular landscaping foundation plant that grows well in middle Tennessee, is a good example. 2. Spring flowering shrubs should be cut after they bloom and summer ones should be cut in spring or winter. Shear the hedge in shallow layers to make sure you don’t accidentally expose bald spots in some of the shrubs. This requires a trimming strategy in which the sides of the hedge are pruned at an outward-flaring angle, so that the top of the hedgerow is narrower than the bottom. You can use the same pruning tools to clip the dead, diseased, damaged, and deranged branches. ", Step 4: The biggest decision you will need to make is between hand-operated hedge shears, which look like oversized scissors with long handles, and a power or battery-operated hedge shears, which bears a slight resemblance to a mini chainsaw. Hand or pole mounted versions of secateurs and pruning saws are available. For more precise shaping, you will also need the proper handheld pruning tools. This time frame varies depending on the season, your plant species and the amount of rainfall. Cedars will grow from 1 to 3 feet (30-90 cm) a year, so you will want to stay on top of the trimming duties before growth gets out of hand. Trim the Top of the Hedge . Hold the hedge trimmer as level as possible as you trim. The top of the hedge is always the last part to cut and it should be cut flat. Check for and cut away any remaining branches that seem out of place. Hedge Trimming Tips Aim to keep the tree under 2m in height for your own best benefit, or if you have the space and want some dominant hedging for your estate, keep it to 3m tops, lest you lose your grip with this magnificent beast. The new growth stimulated by trimming will quickly fill in any holes in your hedge. Sturdy glovesprevent blisters while helping you win the war against thorns. 3 Where one stem branches into two, cut just above the Y-shaped split. We'll take you to the exact aisle and bay. On sloped ground, it's best to measure from the ground to ensure uniformity from end to end. ". If you are insistent about the look of a formal hedge, you might want to repeat this trimming on a monthly basis, as appropriate for the plant species. Make sure to prune the base near the roots as well. When trimming hedges with electric or battery-operated shears, it’s important to maintain an even flow when you cut. Hold the hedge trimmer as level as possible as you trim. Good quality pruning tools make a difference when pruning trees and shrubs. To ensure uniformity from end to end, measure up from the lower string, and position the upper string at the same distance from the ground at each end. Giving you a healthy cut, meaning your hedge can still flourish after being trimmed. What are the shipping options for hedge shears? The best rated hedge shears product is the Professional 9 in. to an arch), cut a template of the shape required from cardboard or plywood. Pound in a second stake at the opposite corner of the hedge on the same side, angling it as with the first stake. Take frequent breaks to step back and assess the shape. You can cut these areas, but make sure you cut those that are close to the main stems. Do not use dull handheld trimming tools. Generally, a mild feeding of compost or slow-release fertilizer is most appropriate. Trimming hedges doesn't need to be time-consuming. On very tall hedges, though, a third interim string on each side might be helpful. If you cut near the top of the hedge, it’ll just end up growing back fast. Now hedges should be pruned from an early stage ... Ideas for topiary. With cuts as perfect as those you would expect from a pair of scissors, you can really polish your landscaping using these shears. Check once more to make sure all strings are straight and taut, and, if necessary, prune away any branches that are touching or deflecting the strings. Yes, hedge shears can be returned and have a 180-Day return period. 1. Some homeowners prefer the relaxing peace and quiet offered by manual shears, while other prefer to get the work done quickly with power tools. Shear the interior and other obvious problem areas first, then use a power trimmer to refine the shape. Clear enough space for sunlight and air to pass through and stimulate healthy growth. If you don't overcompensate for this fallout, the bush will start to look uneven and eventually grow weak. You should start cutting the hedge at the bottom and work your way upwards- moving your hedge trimmer in a steady sweeping movement up and down. Ideally, hedges should be pruned in late winter, when plants are dormant and … Start by trimming the top face of the hedge to create a plane that is flush with the top guide strings. Shop The Home Depot for trimmers, pruning tools and everything you need to get your hedges in shape. Once the strings are installed, use a hand pruner to remove any branches that are deflecting the strings. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 2 Find long stems that grow out of hedge, and snip them close to the ground. Each branch or stem is cut individually, with cuts carefully placed based on bud growth.