What is The Proper Way To Trim a Hedge?

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Do you have overgrown hedges in your garden?

Then, you might like a formal fence with sleek lines and a box-like appearance.

Fortunately, you can quickly achieve such a design without any external help or prior experience.

The results depend upon your planning and execution. So, the first step is to map the design and take measurements of how you like the hedges to appear.

How to Properly Trim a Hedge?

Here are the steps to properly trimming your overgrown hedge.

Map Out The Shape Before You Initiate?

Place some stakes to map out the shape of your hedges. We suggest that you plan a keystone shape where the lower parts are broader than the top.

Such a slope allows sunlight to all the branches and leaves, which facilitates healthy growth. Moreover, the bottom creates shadows to prevent weed growth.

Measure the hedges and place the stake carefully. You can adjust them before starting to trim the hedges. Metal stakes are the best, but they can damage the trimmer’s blade.

So, you have to be careful while cutting the hedges. Or you can try stakes made of different materials like plastic, wood or bamboo.

Stretch a twine and mark the hedges where you want to cut them. Pull it tightly to ensure straight cuts. Use more stakes (if required) to keep the twine straight.


Trim The Hedges

Make sure the trimmer’s blades are sharp. When you start to cut the greens, try not to take out too much density at once.

You cannot revert the results, and it might take one or two years to grow back naturally.

Invest some time to make sure the cutting results are even and smooth. Don’t worry if you have to use the machine several repeatedly at the same spot because occasionally it takes time to create soft hedges.

Also read about the various types of hedge trimmers available in the market.

By mistake, if you trim one of the hedges too deep, then you can do the same to the rest. You can also rearrange the branches in that region to create an illusion of thickness.

Make sure you take breaks during the hedge maintenance sessions.

Otherwise, your arms will not co-operate and droop, resulting in uneven or deep cuts. Even if you don’t harm the hedges, taking breaks is essential during any physical activity that needs your complete focus.

If you are dealing with thick hedges, you can rest the trimmer on their top to support. But, you can only do this temporarily. So, taking regular gaps is an excellent idea.

Try pole hedge trimmer for tall hedges. You don’t have to use stairs or any similar structure with such a gardening device, making the job safe and easy.

Plus, the cutting results are also better when putting minimal strain on your arms and the rest of the body.


Finish The Trimming

Once you finish the trimming as per the design and hedge marks, step away from the hedges. Check them from a distance to notice any misses.

Sometimes you can easily find the uneven spots when you are looking from a farther point. If you find some trouble, fix it.

Some of the sharp edges might look empty or unattractive, but you can make them better by applying a bevel cut.

Trim them at 45 degrees to create a soft appearance. Such bevelled corners are also helpful in the winters by quickly shedding the snow.


Tips For Better Cutting Results

  • Keep the trimmer’s blade sharp.
  • Use both your hands to handle and use the hedge trimmer. Read the manufacturer’s manual before using the trimmer.
  • Keep a check on your surrounding while trimming the hedges. Make sure the kids and pets are not around when you are working.
  • Do not trim the hedges dry. Water them before the cutting session, especially in the summers.
  • Do not try to cut the hedges using your experience. A stake or some similar structure is required to give you a straight trimming site.
  • Check for nests and their resident birds. If you are trimming after a year, then there are chances some birds are living in it. Wait until they fly. Do not destroy their home.
  • Do not expect hedges to provide complete privacy. These plantations are generally 6 to 8 feet high. If you want privacy or block a view, try big trees that grow up to 30 feet.


Final thoughts

How do you properly trim a hedge? We hope you know how to answer this question better than us. Do not rush; work at a steady pace and let the blades do the rest.

If you are trimming the hedges for the first time, then you might feel a little awkward. But, don’t worry, you will feel comfortable within an hour. Happy trimming.

About M H Sharaj

Sharaj is a passionate garden enthusiast and expert gardening tool reviewer with more than 5 years of hands-on experience. His love for gardening blossomed in his childhood, nurtured by weekends spent in his family's vibrant garden. Sharaj holds a degree in Management and enjoys the unique challenges and rewards of roof gardening. He combines his horticultural knowledge with a keen eye for innovative tools and equipment, providing readers with insightful, unbiased reviews. When he’s not testing the latest gardening gadgets, Sharaj is cultivating his own lush rooftop garden oasis, filled with a variety of plants and flowers. His mission is to inspire others to create beautiful, sustainable gardens using the best tools available.

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