The Complete Guide to Hedge Trimming for Beginners

Hedge trimming is an essential gardening job to keep hedges looking healthy. Trimming prevents the hedge from overgrowing and removes any dead part of the plant which may attract pests.

Hedges are generally used as borders, or to line walkways. If left to overgrow, this can lead to branches scratching unsuspecting passers by. As a beginner, you may struggle to know when to trim your hedge and what tools are needed to do it. This guide discusses all you need to know about hedge trimming.

When is the Best Time to Trim Hedges?

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For deciduous hedges, the best time of year to trim is in the spring and secondly, late summer or early autumn. Trimming also depends on the age of your hedges.

New Hedges

If your hedges are in their formative years, trim regularly to encourage healthy growth and to keep it looking smart.

Established Hedges

Well established hedges need trimming about twice yearly. At the start of spring, do an initial hedge trim to eliminate dead wood and stray branches. When summer comes around, trim again to keep the shape of the hedge looking great.

What Tools Are Needed to Trim a Hedge?

There are basic tools and more powerful tools needed for hedge trimming. The ones you choose depend on the size of your hedges. If you struggle to trim your hedges or don’t have the right equipment, contact a local arborist in Brisbane for assistance. Tools needed for hedge trimming:

  • Safety equipment. Gloves, earmuffs and eye-protection
  • Hand shears. Perfect tool for a beginner hedge trimmer
  • Electric trimmer. Great for trimming larger hedges
  • Pruning saw. Used to cut large branches that smaller tools cannot handle

Step by Step Guide to Trim Your Hedges

If you have a large amount of hedges, the trimming process may seem like a lot of work. But once established, they need less attention. Follow these best hedge trimming practices:

  • Ensure cutting tools are sharp. Trimming with dull tools can damage your hedges
  • Cut off any dead or diseased branches. This encourages new growth and lets light through to the inner canopy
  • Cut near to the nodes or trunk. This eliminates any diseased stumps
  • Inspect the hedge to make sure you’ve eliminated all dead branches
  • Add fertiliser and mulch if needed, especially if the hedge is in its formative years