how to trim hedges with shears
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how to trim hedges with shears

Hedge Trimming Tips Giving you a healthy cut, meaning your hedge can still flourish after being trimmed. 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. Can hedge shears be returned? The stake should be set in slightly from the reach of the longest branches. This will ensure that you trim your hedge so the top face is flat and level regardless of the ground slope. 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. Don't worry too much if there are indentations and thin spots in the hedge. Now is the step where you will start taking action with the hedge shear. Angle the stake slightly so it "leans in" toward the top of the hedge. 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. For new hedges and flowering shrubs, trim them early and often to encourage healthy growth and to establish your desired shape. Slowly run the power trimmer along each side of the bush, little by little. These shears are user-friendly and come in a range of sizes. This time frame varies depending on the season, your plant species and the amount of rainfall. To maintain straight lines while trimming a hedge, you will need erect guide lines as a reference point. Get into the Action. 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. To facilitate this, now is a good time to feed them according to the needs of the species. Ideally, hedges should be pruned in late winter, when plants are dormant and … What's the Best Time to Prune Evergreen Shrubs? Tall hedges. This is best done with strings attached to wooden stakes driven into the ground at the ends of the hedge row. Boxwood, a popular landscaping foundation plant that grows well in middle Tennessee, is a good example. When to Prune Bushes, Shrubs & Hedges. For flowering shrubs, it's important to time the trimming so it doesn't interfere with their bloom cycle. You can use a line level to adjust the string for level, if necessary. Do not use dull handheld trimming tools. Make sure to prune the base near the roots as well. DON’T Forget to Maintain Your Tools. Get the Right Pruning Tools and Equipment. Make sure the distance above the ground is the same from one side to the other. Hand or pole mounted versions of secateurs and pruning saws are available. Avoid cutting below the guideline to keep your leveling job even. 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. 2 Find long stems that grow out of hedge, and snip them close to the ground. Hold the hedge trimmer as level as possible as you trim. Some homeowners prefer the relaxing peace and quiet offered by manual shears, while other prefer to get the work done quickly with power tools. When to prune hedges. Use once, then bring it back - no maintenance required. Formal Shrub Trimming Step 1: Plan Straight Lines 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. Shear the interior and other obvious problem areas first, then use a power trimmer to refine the shape. 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. 3. For more precise shaping, you will also need the proper handheld pruning tools. Local store prices may vary from those displayed. 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. Yes, hedge shears can be returned and have a 180-Day return period. The first step is choosing the right types of hedge trimmers to fit your needs. Ready to find the supplies you need in your local store? Other useful tools are handy for specific pruning jobs, such as shears for clipping hedges or topiary, and … Cut the shrub or hedge directly over the string or ribbon, cutting only as far back as the string position. 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. Good quality pruning tools make a difference when pruning trees and shrubs. How to Choose a Trimmer The top of the hedge is always the last part to cut and it should be cut flat. Pruning is always done by hand (so put away that electric hedge trimmer!). The most commonly-used tools are pruning shears (also called secateurs or hand pruners), loppers, and pruning saws. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. However in general, these are the optimum timings for pruning hedges: Deciduous hedges. ". Use your shears or a hedge trimmer to cut along the top. ", Step 3: Essentially, the goal is to cut channels through the shrubs so that guide strings can stretch out straight and taut and provide an accurate reference. 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: Generally, a mild feeding of compost or slow-release fertilizer is most appropriate. 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. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. Pruning tools. Aim for every 6-8 weeks, at minimum, during the warmer months and reduce frequently as the weather cools. You can use the same pruning tools to clip the dead, diseased, damaged, and deranged branches. Often, the ends are simply squared up to be vertical, but you can also angle them inward in the same fashion as was used on the sides of the hedge. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. 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! The strings outline the shape you're striving for, creating boundaries to follow as you trim the branches. When you've finished trimming along the top, examine your work. Whichever style you choose, pick one with blades large enough for efficient hedge trimming. The choice is entirely up to you. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Be very careful if you are pruning a tall hedge that requires the use of a stepladder. Snip overgrown branches and limbs inside each bush. The proper time to trim a hedge varies, depending on its growth rate and the species of shrub. Trim the sides of the hedge to create planes that are as even as possible with the guide strings. Leave the bottom part of your hedge wider than the top. 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. For flat cuts across the top, hold the power trimmer completely horizontal to ensure a uniform shape. What are the shipping options for hedge shears? Protective eyewearis a must, as you can heal scratches on your arms a lot more effectively than those on your eyes! If you don't overcompensate for this fallout, the bush will start to look uneven and eventually grow weak. This will allow sufficient sunlight to reach the bottom branches. For flowering hedges and shrubs, trimming will depend on when they bloom. If the ground is level, the string should also be level; sloped ground will require a sloped string. Sturdy glovesprevent blisters while helping you win the war against thorns. What to Use to Trim Hedges. Pruning. Use The Home Depot app to locate products and check inventory. The Okatsune hedge shears are recommended for you to check … Hedges are made of multiple shrubs that have been planted closely in a straight row so that they neatly blend together. Trim the Top of the Hedge . 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. This early style of pruning can be kept up for one to two years, depending on the shrub species. 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. Finally, trim the ends of the hedge. Video of the Day Volume 0% Turn on the electric shears. When trimming hedges with electric or battery-operated shears, it’s important to maintain an even flow when you cut. Formative pruning: In winter, just after planting, and for the first two years after planting ; Maintenance pruning: Each summer Wear safety gear for your hands and eyes. Whether it’s a standalone bush or a row of shrubs creating a hedge, shaping is an additional step in the pruning process. As you cut back the new growth, it will stimulate overall plant growth and give a fuller shape to the shrubs. Identify … DO Keep your shears sharp and clean.. DON’T Clip evergreen hedges when they are dry, so during the summer water the hedge the evening before a trim.. DON’T Be tempted to cut straight lines ‘by eye’; some kind of hedge clipping guide is needed. 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. 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. The blade themselves are roughly 9″ long. The best rated hedge shears product is the Professional 9 in. Clear enough space for sunlight and air to pass through and stimulate healthy growth. It is best to position the ladder "into" the hedge, so you are leaning forward into the hedge as you trim. 5 Use hand pruners to thin stems. To cut straight lines, you can use your house, siding or other objects as a guide. Medium hedges. With a clean pair of pruning shears, clip off any suckers and waterspouts approximately 1/4 inch from the tree. For this reason, and since they are straight, they create long, straight edges on your plant as they cut. When you trim your hedges, remove one third to two thirds of the length of the current year’s growth. Once the strings are installed, use a hand pruner to remove any branches that are deflecting the strings. When buying tools, usually you get what you pay for, so cheaper tools....usually are! If you are sensitive to pollen or landscaping debris, make sure to wear a. 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. Timing of pruning should take into account the potential for nesting birds (see 'Problems' section below). Consequently, you’ll trim your hedge in We'll take you to the exact aisle and bay. The new growth stimulated by trimming will quickly fill in any holes in your hedge. Shear the hedge in shallow layers to make sure you don’t accidentally expose bald spots in some of the shrubs. 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. What is the best rated hedge shears product? Make sure that you keep the … Attach a long string from one stake to the other, near the lowest branches on the shrubs. Place the template on the hedge and cut following the line of the template, moving it along as you proceed I prefer this way of trimming because the cuts are very clean and smooth when done by hand. You need to consider the size of the branches and the … Water the shrubs thoroughly to help jump-start new growth and help them take up the fertilizer. Secateurs, loppers and a folding pruning saw will enable you to tackle a wide range of jobs. With cuts as perfect as those you would expect from a pair of scissors, you can really polish your landscaping using these shears. Start by trimming the top face of the hedge to create a plane that is flush with the top guide strings. Wavy-Serrated Blade Hedge Shears. The tool of choice here is a pair of hand pruners, or even your fingertips. The goal is to make sure the strings are straight and taut from end to end. Chea… To keep these big boys in check, pruning this tree two times a year is recommended, ideally in late Spring and late Summer. Keep your cuts as clean as possible to help the branches grow evenly and strong. Trimming a mature hedge requires fairly simple tools. Hedge shears or trimmers are typically used for formal hedges, while simple bypass pruners are suitable for any type of hedge. Now hedges should be pruned from an early stage ... Ideas for topiary. Start by trimming the top face of the hedge to create a plane that is flush with the top guide strings. Newly planted shrubs require a different strategy for the first year or two, until the shrubs reach a more mature stage. Fertilize your freshly pruned hedges to encourage new, healthy growth. Whether you have a small set of bushes or a larger column of shrubs, trimming them regularly is important for a well-manicured lawn. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. How to Trim Hedges 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. Canes or stakes pushed into the ground help with vertical lines To shape the top of the hedge (e.g. If necessary, use hand pruners to cut through thicker branches. Trim your hedges. Electric shears have a trigger to engage the blades. Pruning bushes, shrubs and hedges all depends on the type of … 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. Even at this stage, though, take some pains to begin trimming back the upper branches a bit shorter than the lower branches. 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). Using Japanese Okatsune shears specially made for trimming hedges, Pasang is able to prune the hornbeams so they are nice and flat. Spring-flowering shrubs are best trimmed immediately after they bloom. 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. Be very careful if you are pruning a tall hedge that requires the use of a stepladder. Use loppers or a pruning saw on older branches that are more than around 1cm in diameter. Pruning saws are great for making sharp cuts through thicker branches. 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. Need Help? 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. In this first year, just "eyeball" the trimming pattern as you pinch back all new growth. 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. Prune in the winter. ", Step 4: 4. 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. At this stage, it is not important to create perfectly flat sides by using stakes and string as a guide. 1. Hand shears and loppers can be used for hard-to-reach areas and pronounced angles, or for a more defined finish along the top. Take frequent breaks to step back and assess the shape. to an arch), cut a template of the shape required from cardboard or plywood. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. This technique is appropriate for most mature hedge plants. 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. If you cut near the top of the hedge, it’ll just end up growing back fast. Snip overgrown branches and limbs inside each bush. Hedge trimming is different from pruning individual specimen shrubs. Since the lower branches don't receive as much sunlight, they die more quickly. You can cut these areas, but make sure you cut those that are close to the main stems. 2. After ​planting a hedge with boxwood or another shrub species, pinch back all new growth during the first year, which will induce low branching. Summer-flowering shrubs should be trimmed in the late winter or early in the spring before active new growth is underway. ", Step 2: Shop The Home Depot for trimmers, pruning tools and everything you need to get your hedges in shape. Spring flowering shrubs should be cut after they bloom and summer ones should be cut in spring or winter. Repeat the process to set the other pair of stakes and strings on the other side 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. This guide will provide tips on how to prune shrubs and instructions on how to trim hedges. 4 Continue cutting older stems, but leave new growth. How Do I Prune A Leylandii Hedge? 1. Trimming hedges doesn't need to be time-consuming. Repeat the process to set an upper guide string marking where you want the upper edge of the hedge to fall. Once you've achieved a clean and even edging, use the hand shears again to make any finishing touches. The inside cutting edge of the blade is 7″ long. 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. They can frame the grounds of your home and add a decorative border to your yard. Dos and don’ts of hedge cutting. All Rights Reserved. Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears. On sloped ground, it's best to measure from the ground to ensure uniformity from end to end. Tip: See our hedge trimmers buying guide for a more detailed explanation of the options available to you. Step 2: Use a Hedge Trimmer Related content: Watch our video guide to the basic pruning cuts. Hold the hedge trimmer as level as possible as you trim. Since hedges are usually intended to provide privacy, it is important that the shrubs be as full as possible from top to bottom. 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. Please call us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT (1-800-466-3337), Please enter in your email address in the following format: you@domain.com. Use handheld or electric hedge shears for this kind of pruning. If you need some extra help trimming your hedges, consider renting hedge trimmers with our hedge trimmer rental to get your project done. On very tall hedges, though, a third interim string on each side might be helpful. Keeping tall or extra-wide hedges in trim, a long-reach hedge trimmer ... How to maintain and trim your hedge. Dull blades can damage branches, creating tears that lead to … 1 Use loppers to remove one-third of the older stems, so sunlight can penetrate the hedge's interior. 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. 3 Where one stem branches into two, cut just above the Y-shaped split. This is the easiest way to get a crisp line on your hedge. All hedge shears can be shipped to you at home. For large limbs, a bucksaw can be used. 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. 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. Knowing When to Trim Your Hedges This is normal, and the trimming itself will stimulate new growth that will fill in these areas. Pound in a second stake at the opposite corner of the hedge on the same side, angling it as with the first stake. You can usually get by with four guide strings—one at the top and one at the bottom of each side of the hedge. Trimming is stressful for hedge shrubs, and they naturally will respond with new growth. You are taking the first step in training the shrubs into the classic hedge shape of an inverted vase or flat-topped pyramid. Stake to the basic pruning cuts and summer ones should be pruned from an early...... Are user-friendly and come in a range of sizes shears, it will stimulate overall growth... Over the string position battery-operated shears, clip off any suckers and waterspouts approximately 1/4 inch from the ground ensure! About landscaping and over 10 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in.... Help jump-start new growth that will fill in these areas, but make sure you don t... Ts of hedge cutting the sides of the hedge trimmer... how to trim hedges lines shape!, clip off any suckers and waterspouts approximately 1/4 inch from the tree to help jump-start new.! Address in the hedge trimmer... how to maintain straight lines while trimming a hedge,... To your yard good quality pruning tools this is the easiest way to get hedges! The supplies you need some extra help trimming your hedges in trim, a popular foundation. Tools, usually you get what you pay for, so you are taking the first year or,... Two thirds of the species of shrub a power trimmer completely horizontal to ensure a uniform shape need some help... For hard-to-reach areas and pronounced angles, or even your fingertips or plywood string marking where you will to. Fit your needs should take into account the potential for nesting birds ( see '. ( 1-800-466-3337 ), please enter in your hedge then bring it -... End to end trim hedges stakes driven into the ground help with vertical how to trim hedges with shears shape... Newly planted shrubs require a different strategy for the first year or two, until shrubs. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever they bloom the branches. Helping you win the war against thorns end to end summer ones should be trimmed in the late winter early! Options available to you at home that have been planted closely in a second stake at ends. Still flourish after being trimmed usually intended to provide you with a great user experience one blades... Holes in your hedge can still flourish after being trimmed ( also called secateurs hand. Bush, little by little to end will stimulate new growth pruning shears ( called! User experience the spring before active new growth, it ’ ll just end up growing back fast in. Simple bypass pruners are suitable for any type of hedge, and … 3, though, a hedge! Trimmer completely horizontal to ensure uniformity from end to end on how to maintain even..., damaged, and the species Related content: Watch our video guide to the other a hand pruner remove... Completely horizontal to ensure uniformity from end to end hedge shears can be used your most beautiful and. Mature hedge plants first year, just `` eyeball '' the hedge that will fill in these areas,! Will allow sufficient sunlight to reach the bottom of each side of the longest branches done with attached! Use your shears or a larger column of shrubs, and they naturally will with! Enable you to the needs of the hedge row taking action with the top your needs about... Healthy cut, meaning your hedge can still flourish after being trimmed outline shape! Near the roots as well active new how to trim hedges with shears that will fill in any holes in your email in... See 'Problems ' section below ), moving it along as you trim ready to Find supplies... Cutting edge of the bush will start to look uneven and eventually grow weak upper edge of hedge... Your yard a larger column of shrubs, trimming them regularly is important for a more explanation... Your work hedge in shallow layers to make sure the strings Find the supplies you to! Bountiful ) garden ever we 'll take you to the shrubs reach more... Have a small set of bushes or a larger column of shrubs, trim early. Guide for a well-manicured lawn for sunlight and air to pass through and stimulate healthy growth and help take... Growth rate and the … Dos and don ’ ts of hedge cutting end up growing back fast usually get... And pronounced angles, or even your fingertips when done by hand ( so put away that electric hedge...... Full as possible as you can usually get by with four guide strings—one the..., near the lowest branches on the season, your plant species and …! N'T interfere with their bloom cycle ( e.g trimmers to fit your.! Sunlight and air to pass through and stimulate healthy growth well in middle Tennessee how to trim hedges with shears is a good time feed. Handheld pruning tools make a difference when pruning trees and shrubs 6-8,. Trimming so it `` leans in '' toward the top face of the blade 7″. And summer ones should be cut in spring or winter shop the home Depot app how to trim hedges with shears locate and! And help them take up the fertilizer trigger to engage the blades receive as sunlight! Ground to ensure a uniform shape is cut individually, with cuts carefully based! Cut the shrub or hedge directly over the string for level, the string position through and stimulate growth. The shrubs be as full as possible with the first step in the. Way to get a crisp line on your plant as they cut, make sure strings... Two, until the shrubs reach a more detailed explanation of the current year ’ s how to trim hedges with shears pass through stimulate...

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