Use handheld or electric hedge shears for this kind of pruning. Setting up guidelines for trimming can be more complicated than it sounds, since an untrimmed hedge is oversized, making it difficult to run guide strings without the unruly branches getting in the way. Whether you have a small set of bushes or a larger column of shrubs, trimming them regularly is important for a well-manicured lawn. 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. 2 Find long stems that grow out of hedge, and snip them close to the ground. Sturdy glovesprevent blisters while helping you win the war against thorns. 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. This will allow sufficient sunlight to reach the bottom branches. This technique is appropriate for most mature hedge plants. What to Use to Trim Hedges. Trimming a mature hedge requires fairly simple tools. Hedges are made of multiple shrubs that have been planted closely in a straight row so that they neatly blend together. Repeat the process to set an upper guide string marking where you want the upper edge of the hedge to fall. Pruning. Once the strings are installed, use a hand pruner to remove any branches that are deflecting the strings. Take frequent breaks to step back and assess the shape. If necessary, use hand pruners to cut through thicker branches. 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. Since hedges are usually intended to provide privacy, it is important that the shrubs be as full as possible from top to bottom. If you are sensitive to pollen or landscaping debris, make sure to wear a. Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears. This is normal, and the trimming itself will stimulate new growth that will fill in these areas. Each branch or stem is cut individually, with cuts carefully placed based on bud growth. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Shear the interior and other obvious problem areas first, then use a power trimmer to refine the shape. Be very careful if you are pruning a tall hedge that requires the use of a stepladder. Dos and don’ts of hedge cutting. 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. Hand shears and loppers can be used for hard-to-reach areas and pronounced angles, or for a more defined finish along the top. For more precise shaping, you will also need the proper handheld pruning tools. 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. Dull blades can damage branches, creating tears that lead to … to an arch), cut a template of the shape required from cardboard or plywood. To maintain straight lines while trimming a hedge, you will need erect guide lines as a reference point. Local store prices may vary from those displayed. Summer-flowering shrubs should be trimmed in the late winter or early in the spring before active new growth is underway. Corded and cordless electric varieties are best suited for small to medium-sized hedges, while gas trimmers are designed to accommodate a wider surface area. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. When to Prune Bushes, Shrubs & Hedges. Once you've achieved a clean and even edging, use the hand shears again to make any finishing touches. Now is the step where you will start taking action with the hedge shear. Whether it’s a standalone bush or a row of shrubs creating a hedge, shaping is an additional step in the pruning process. Hedges are usually grown from shrubs that have two vegetation phases within a year, one in spring and another at the end of summer.Best is to wait for these growth periods to slow down, so that the shape you give them will stay for a longer period of time. For this reason, and since they are straight, they create long, straight edges on your plant as they cut. These shears are user-friendly and come in a range of sizes. The proper time to trim a hedge varies, depending on its growth rate and the species of shrub. 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. Tip: See our hedge trimmers buying guide for a more detailed explanation of the options available to you. Start by trimming the top face of the hedge to create a plane that is flush with the top guide strings. Pruning tools. When you trim your hedges, remove one third to two thirds of the length of the current year’s growth. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. Whichever style you choose, pick one with blades large enough for efficient hedge trimming. ", Step 3: Snip overgrown branches and limbs inside each bush. Place the template on the hedge and cut following the line of the template, moving it along as you proceed Use your shears or a hedge trimmer to cut along the top. 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. 1 Use loppers to remove one-third of the older stems, so sunlight can penetrate the hedge's interior. Boxwood, a popular landscaping foundation plant that grows well in middle Tennessee, is a good example. 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. To keep these big boys in check, pruning this tree two times a year is recommended, ideally in late Spring and late Summer. 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 the distance above the ground is the same from one side to the other. On very tall hedges, though, a third interim string on each side might be helpful. 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. Shear the hedge in shallow layers to make sure you don’t accidentally expose bald spots in some of the shrubs. Medium 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. They can frame the grounds of your home and add a decorative border to your yard. Be very careful if you are pruning a tall hedge that requires the use of a stepladder. 2. This early style of pruning can be kept up for one to two years, depending on the shrub species. Check for and cut away any remaining branches that seem out of place. The best rated hedge shears product is the Professional 9 in. Cut the shrub or hedge directly over the string or ribbon, cutting only as far back as the string position. Prune in the winter. I prefer this way of trimming because the cuts are very clean and smooth when done by hand. In this first year, just "eyeball" the trimming pattern as you pinch back all new growth. By using The Spruce, you accept our, 4 Types of Pole Pruners for Trimming Trees, How to Create and Maintain a Formal Hedge, Heading Back and Other Types of Pruning Cuts, How to Make an Easy Brick Patio Pattern for Beginners, Tips on Pruning Arborvitae After Snow Damage, The 9 Best Cordless Hedge Trimmers of 2020. When to prune hedges. If you need some extra help trimming your hedges, consider renting hedge trimmers with our hedge trimmer rental to get your project done. This will ensure that you trim your hedge so the top face is flat and level regardless of the ground slope. Hold the hedge trimmer as level as possible as you trim. For flowering shrubs, it's important to time the trimming so it doesn't interfere with their bloom cycle. Consequently, you’ll trim your hedge in Slowly run the power trimmer along each side of the bush, little by little. 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. Finally, trim the ends of the hedge. Hand or pole mounted versions of secateurs and pruning saws are available. All Rights Reserved. Canes or stakes pushed into the ground help with vertical lines To shape the top of the hedge (e.g. At this stage, it is not important to create perfectly flat sides by using stakes and string as a guide. Timing of pruning should take into account the potential for nesting birds (see 'Problems' section below). Tall hedges. Formal Shrub Trimming Step 1: Plan Straight Lines This is the easiest way to get a crisp line on your hedge. Trim your hedges. Angle the stake slightly so it "leans in" toward the top of the hedge. Don't worry too much if there are indentations and thin spots in the hedge. The tool of choice here is a pair of hand pruners, or even your fingertips. For flat cuts across the top, hold the power trimmer completely horizontal to ensure a uniform shape. 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. 3. You need to consider the size of the branches and the … This is best done with strings attached to wooden stakes driven into the ground at the ends of the hedge row. If you cut near the top of the hedge, it’ll just end up growing back fast. What are the shipping options for hedge shears? Good quality pruning tools make a difference when pruning trees and shrubs. 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. Fertilize your freshly pruned hedges to encourage new, healthy growth. You can use the same pruning tools to clip the dead, diseased, damaged, and deranged branches. The blade themselves are roughly 9″ long. 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. Since the lower branches don't receive as much sunlight, they die more quickly. Pruning bushes, shrubs and hedges all depends on the type of … Safety Equipment Safety should always come first, so don’t even think about putting a blade anywhere near a bush unless you’ve got goggles and gloves! 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. 1. Make sure to prune the base near the roots as well. What's the Best Time to Prune Evergreen Shrubs? With a clean pair of pruning shears, clip off any suckers and waterspouts approximately 1/4 inch from the tree. 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: You can use a line level to adjust the string for level, if necessary. The strings outline the shape you're striving for, creating boundaries to follow as you trim the branches. Pruning saws are great for making sharp cuts through thicker branches. However in general, these are the optimum timings for pruning hedges: Deciduous hedges. Trimming hedges doesn't need to be time-consuming. Trimming is stressful for hedge shrubs, and they naturally will respond with new growth. Attach a long string from one stake to the other, near the lowest branches on the shrubs. Newly planted shrubs require a different strategy for the first year or two, until the shrubs reach a more mature stage. All hedge shears can be shipped to you at home. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. Wavy-Serrated Blade Hedge Shears. Pruning is always done by hand (so put away that electric hedge trimmer!). Repeat the process to set the other pair of stakes and strings on the other side of the hedge. Turn on the electric shears. On sloped ground, it's best to measure from the ground to ensure uniformity from end to end. Giving you a healthy cut, meaning your hedge can still flourish after being trimmed. 5 Use hand pruners to thin stems. 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. Keeping tall or extra-wide hedges in trim, a long-reach hedge trimmer ... How to maintain and trim your hedge. At the point where your hedgerow is full-bodied and beginning to assume the inverted vase shape, you can switch to a more precise trimming technique to create a classic hedge with a flat top and sides. Hold the hedge trimmer as level as possible as you trim. Yes, hedge shears can be returned and have a 180-Day return period. Pound in a second stake at the opposite corner of the hedge on the same side, angling it as with the first stake. For new hedges and flowering shrubs, trim them early and often to encourage healthy growth and to establish your desired shape. 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. Avoid cutting below the guideline to keep your leveling job even. Do not use dull handheld trimming tools. Shop The Home Depot for trimmers, pruning tools and everything you need to get your hedges in shape. DON’T Forget to Maintain Your Tools. Video of the Day Volume 0% The inside cutting edge of the blade is 7″ long. 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.

how to trim hedges with shears

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