Hedges are a very common and important ornamental feature in the garden. If properly cared for, they can be one of the most eye-catching landscapes in the garden. Hedge care - that is, pruning - then becomes a daily task for many gardeners.
Hedge pruning is the best maintenance to help keep them looking good over time. In this article, we'll give you some tips on how to trim your hedges, including the proper time to trim, the tools to use, and more.
Trimming hedges is very different from trimming trees. When pruning trees and shrubs best practice is to follow the natural lines of the plants. Unlike hedges, which often need to be trimmed to a specific shape for better ornamentation. This is actually contrary to the natural growth pattern of the plant and therefore requires better planning and consistent pruning.
Generally, hedges are trimmed before the new growth blocks the sunlight. As the leaves below lose sunlight, they will begin to die back in favor of new growth.
Some evergreens grow quickly and need to be trimmed every four to six weeks during the growing season, while others may grow more slowly and only need to be trimmed once. The best way to determine how often to prune is to watch the growth and prune before it begins to shade out the foliage below.
Many people use electric trimmers to trim hedges, especially some large landscaping providers, and power tools offer greater efficiency. But for individual gardeners, hand tools are a better choice. They ensure a cleaner cut and cause less damage to branches.
Power tools tend to leave uneven wounds on plants, which are difficult for them to heal. Therefore hedge plants trimmed with power tools are more likely to get sick. In addition, hand tools are more environmentally friendly and quieter.
Prepare To Prune
Before trimming your hedge, clear your workspace. Remember, it's a good idea to wear safety goggles and gloves. Clean and sharpen your tools before pruning. If you are trimming multiple hedges, have a bucket of soapy water and a rag on hand to clean your tools between two hedges. Since pruning can cause disease in the wood, it is important to make sure your tools are kept clean.
Manual Hedging Tools
1. Hand Pruners
Hand pruners are small tools that are ideal for removing wilted, dead or diseased branches and leaves. Hand pruners cannot cut branches that are too thick, so they are often used for softer plants or to trim the edges of hedge forms.
2. Pruning Saw
The saw blade of the pruning saw is so sharp that it is capable of cutting off large branches of more than 3/4 inch. Therefore, hedge trimming with a pruning saw will be very easy.
3. Hedge Shears
The hedge shears are slightly larger in size and can trim a larger area. This makes them very easy to use, especially when trimming large hedges and hedges at right angles.
Start trimming at the bottom of the hedge and trim all the way up so that the top branches and leaves are free to fall to the ground. Place the blade at a right angle to the branch to get the cleanest cut possible. Make sure you don't twist the branches or approach them at odd angles, as they won't cut cleanly.
4. Grass Shears
After trimming the hedge, the grass shears are then used to clean up any small debris that has sprung up after the cut and to remove any protruding leafless branches. Grass shears are the ideal tool for finishing and they are great for enhancing the decorative look of the hedge.
Pruning is one of the most frequent tasks in the garden. With a detailed guide and the right tools, every gardener can easily do the job and get a perfect hedge shape.