Hedge Trimming Tips: How to get the perfect straight hedges.

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When to cut your hedge ?

Hedge trimming is about knowing the best times to trim your hedges and how much of a trim they will need and can handle. It’s important if you want to keep your garden neat and looking great and of course to ensure a healthy looking hedge.

Depending on the type of hedge that you have, it will need to be trimmed and clipped at different times of the year. Of course it depends on the look and finish you want to achieve, whether you are going for the perfectly manicured bush or something more casual and rugged.  It’s worth bearing in mind a formal looking hedge will require more maintenance and time to keep it looking great. Planning your hedge trimming and how much time you can commit is always a good place to start.

2) How to trim hedges?

It could be that you have found yourself in a new home or havn’t been able to commit much garderding time and the result has been garden hedges that have been neglected and left overgrown. It’s tempting to start hacking, but there are not many hedges that can handle a hard prune, for example Lawson Cypress  and Leyland hedge.  For these it can be a good idea to trim in phases.  One way of doing this is cutting one side at a time, leaving a year between each time to recover.

How to Trim Laurel Hedges ?

Laurel bushes and hedges can easily be trimmed with secateurs or with electric / Petrol  hedge trimmers.  The best time to trim your laurel hedge is in late spring or early summer,  this will encourage fresh new growth with lush green leaves.

How to Trim Hawthorn Hedges ?

Hawthorn hedges its best to trim the sides in autumn when they look ragged and keep the tops reasonable level at the same time.  Whether you are going for a formal look or native, the shape should always be bottom heavy, this will allow the light to reach even the lowest leaves and branches and keep them looking healthy.

How to trim Privet Hedges ?

Privet hedges should be trimmed at least  twice a year.  Privets are plants that can be trimmed very regularly, doing this will create bushier and denser hedges whilst keeping a regular size.  Perfect for areas where space is limited.  Pruning should take place during May to August.  If you are trying to reduce the size of the hedge, it’s best to prune it right back in April.

How to Trim Beech Hedges ?

Beech hedges should be pruned in early June to keep the, bushy and in early August to encourage a late flurry of growth and new green leaves that will last through the winter.

Ideally they should be cut back after each flush to keep them tidy. After the summer growth spurt, deciduous hedges, like beech and hornbeam, need to be pruned before the leaves change colour and fall. September to October is the best month to do it.

 How to cut straight hedge tops?

The best way to cut straight tops is by using a string method,  where a line between stout poles is set up, ensuring a straight line allowing  the sides and top to be straight. You can even use a spirit level for this if you want your hedge perfectly straight.  If you are cutting a long hedge you can set up multiple poles and run the string through it.  

We recommend setting the line about 1/2inch or 1cm below the final cut, this will ensure you don’t cut through the string and allow space to work. 

Safety trimming

Whether you are using an electric, petrol or manual tool it’s important to follow some basic safety tips. 

  1. Always wait for a dry to cut your hedge.(Especially avoid wet and slippy ground when using power tools) 
  2. Use the right equipment to cut tall and difficult hedges, such a cutting platform or stabilised ladder and make sure someone else is with you. 
  3. Choose the right tools to match your job.

Chipperfield’s expert tips! 

  • I like a powered hedge trimmer similar to this style as I find it better than battery powered options!
  • You should always wear glasses for eye protection when hedge trimming, you never know what might hit you in the face!
  • Garden rake, I like to use one similar to this to rake up all the hedge trimmings off the floor!
  • It is always useful to have a pair of hand shears!
  • There are a number of different options open to you to cut your hedge and it will depend on your budget, and what you are intending to use. It is important to consider if you have access to power and this could make the choice easier, if you don’t want power cables across your working area then it is more practical to choose rechargeable or petrol trimming unless you are opting for hand tools.

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