Do you have hedges in your garden that need a little bit of care and attention? Are their branches unruly, and their shape unkempt? Hedge trimming may need to be your next landscaping project. Rows of thickly layered shrubs are a beautiful way to shape your yard and even create boundary lines. Like all plants, hedges need care: watering, feeding, and pruning to look their best.
If you have hedges in your garden, it is suggested to prune them twice per year. Take care to prune after the hottest, driest part of the year and before any kind of harsh cold weather. Ideally, you want to prune when your shrubs are dormant, indicated by when they stop producing buds. Hedging on a cloudy day also helps prevent leaf burn. Formative pruning is done in the first two to three years after the hedges are planted. These first years of your gardening practice will set the course for how your hedges grow in years to come.
There are many ways to trim hedges. Below, we have compiled some tips and tricks for general hedge pruning.
The first step to trimming your hedges is to get a template in place. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes you can trim your hedges, so do some research and figure out which is the best look for your landscape. You want to get a clean, smooth cut for your shrubbery – so set yourself up well. Additionally, choose species that will grow high and tight. Look out for words like “columnar” or “fastigiate.” These words indicate the types of growth that are ideal for hedges.
Generally, hedges need to be at at least one metre in width. Keeping the height at about eye-level will make maintenance easier, as well. If you want taller hedges in your garden, be prepared to climb a ladder to reach the upper parts of your shrubs.
Left unkempt, hedges will grow to be more broad at the top, where they receive the most sunlight. It is best to trim more narrow at the top, and wider at the base. This allows more even acquisition of sunlight and will stimulate more even growth. When shearing, start at the bottom and work your way to the top.
In addition to using shears or some kind of electric hedging device, hand-pruning is a must. Thick hedges may be choking-out light for branches on the interior of the plant, stalling interior growth. Every couple of metres or so, you will want to reach inside the shrub towards the stalk, and cut a couple branches at a 45 degree angle right at the nub or leaflet. This will allow more light and air to reach the inside of your hedge, too.
Don’t expect hedges to provide extensive privacy or block-out a bad view entirely. If privacy is what you are after, start looking at big trees.
If you’d like to call in a professional eye to design and keep up with your landscape dreams, we here at Dynamic Arborist would be thrilled to help. Hedge pruning and trimming is one of the many projects that we are highly trained and qualified to perform. If you have any questions or inquiries, shoot them our way!