Sunday, December 15, 2019

Hedge and Shrub Trimming Tips Advised by Experts

Growing up we had hedges between my yard and my neighbors', and I remember watching professionals come take care of it. But what if you wanted to take care of it yourself? Here's how you can save money by DIYing your hedge trimming.

Shrubs and hedges are arguably the most underrated and overlooked of all the landscape plants. Which is a shame because they possess a natural beauty that can effortlessly enhance the curb appeal of your home, while complementing the rest of your yard landscape.

When they’re neatly trimmed, most varieties will stay green and vibrant all year round and can even increase the resale value of your home. Misshapen, overgrown, or unkempt hedges and shrubs, on the other hand, will reduce the overall value and appearance of your home. Fortunately, trimming these landscaping beauties is fairly easy if you know what you’re doing. If you’re overwhelmed by the process, here are a few pro tips to help you out.

Understand your hedge’s trimming needs

First and foremost, you need to start by assessing the type and condition of your hedge. The professional gardeners at, strongly recommends that you understand the type of hedge you have before you make the first cut. This is because every kind has its own trimming needs. Broadleaf Evergreen shrubs, for instance, benefit from a light trimming or deadheading just after flowering, simply removing the spent blooms should do the trick, but you’ll need to be careful not to damage the vegetative buds or the new shoots below the flowers. On the other hand, drastically overgrown and multi-stem Broadleaf Evergreens will need a bit more than a simple trimming.

Know when to trim

The best time to trim your shrubs also depends upon the plant type. For early-spring-flowering right, it’s generally recommended that you trim right after they bloom. As for summer-flowering-shrubs, they should be clipped during the winter or early spring when the blooms are still brown. This way, the plans will have enough time to set buds for the next growing season. For non-flowering shrubs, wait until new growth has completely formed before you trim.

Shape the hedge so that the top is narrower than the bottom

Because that’s where they receive the most sunlight, most hedges will naturally grow wider at the top if left alone, consequently creating a V shape that shades out lower branches. As a result, the bottom branches will start to wilt and brown. Ideally, when trimming, you’ll want to turn that V upside down. Regardless of the shape of the top — whether it’s flat, rounded, or pointed— when trimming, start at the bottom and work your way up.

Hand-prune before you trim

Using a handheld pruners or a power trimmer to cut off the tips of your hedge’s branches keeps the hedge neat and tidy. Moreover, hand-pruning also stimulates bud production, especially near the shrub's edges. But, keep in mind that as buds grow and multiply, your shrub can get too thick for sunlight to penetrate it preventing interior growth. To avoid this, be sure to use hand-pruners to create some spaces in the hedge to allow light and air to seep through. When trimming, reach inside the shrub every few feet and clip a branch or two at a 45° angle, just above a stem or leaf that’s growing in a direction you want to encourage.

In case of snow, give your hedges and shrubs a rounded top

A straight cut makes your hedges and shrubs more prone to snow damage because, with a straight top, your plants won’t be able to shed snow as readily. So, if you live somewhere where your hedges are subjected to regular, heavy snow, consider cutting a rounded top of your hedges and shrubs to reduce the accumulation of heavy snow and the breakage of branches that will consequently occur.

Cut in perfectly straight lines

Trimming your plants in perfectly straight lines can be challenging. To precisely cut straight lines, you can use strings and stakes to ensure an even line along the top of your hedge. All you have to do is run a string line along the hedge between the stakes and then simply cut along the line.

As you can see, hedge and shrub trimming is a skill that anyone can master, all you have to do is learn a few basics. Rather than thinking of trimming your shrubs as a chore that you keep putting off, try looking at it as a creative outlet. With our expert tips in mind, you’ll find that keeping your shrubs and hedges neat and healthy is much easier than you think. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take your pruner and trimmer out of the shed and start trimming.