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How to Trim Hedges

Trim hedges the easy way

how to trim a hedge bgSo you want to trim your hedge. No problem, it’s simple, all it takes is an idea, hedge trimmers or shears, and some time.

 Things you need

If you want those wonderful straight hedges that you see in the magazines you might add some string and four poles the same height that you want your shrubbery, and don’t forget those safety glasses and gloves. Tall hedges may also require a ladder to reach.

Plan a shape

Just take a moment and decide if you like the neatly trimmed, slightly rounded hedges that are common in most suburban neighborhoods, or those more elaborate show pieces such as those perfectly squared and straight greenery that are featured in magazines. Keep in mind that the fancier it gets the more time and effort it takes.

Trim the longest stems first

Let’s start the easy way. Shrubs have a slightly rounded contour as they grow; all that is needed are shears and a little imagination. Picture the shape that appeals to you and start by trimming the longest stems first to about the same length of the lower ones. When this is done, stand back and see if the shape and height is right for you, if not just trim a little at a time until you are satisfied. As you work you may see a few dead stems which should be removed to keep the plant healthy, don’t worry if you trim too much it fills in quickly.

Visions of beauty

straight hedgeFor those “visions of beauty” that everyone envies, there are a few more steps before you even start thinking of trimming the first branch. First decide what height will work best for you. Cut four poles at that height, if you can’t cut the poles just use tape or tie string at the height you require as a guide to keep you straight. Set the poles at the two corners on both ends of the hedge, and tie string from end to end to make a straight line to keep your cut straight, work with no more than ten feet at a time.

Start trimming

Now you can start trimming. It is easier to use electric or gas hedge trimmers but basic shears will work, although it may take a little longer. To keep your hedge healthy and green, when trimming try to angle towards the top a little to allow the lower branches to get more rain and sunlight, also trim as little as possible during the hottest part of summer.

Your hedges are now nice and neatly trimmed and should only need occasional pruning throughout the season to keep them healthy and beautiful.