how to trim hedges with shears

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

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