Even if a hedge does not require major maintenance, it is necessary to prune it at the right time, and with appropriate tools. Thus, the shrub’s species and age, as well as the season, will all be taken into account. Various parameters are taken into account, and the equipment must be suitable for the work being carried out. Keeping a hedge healthy, with a harmonious shape, requires minimal expertise and following simple rules. 

Having a private garden is very nice but requires substantial maintenance if the owner does not wish for it to be invaded by unwanted plants. Hedgerows bounding the garden also need to be maintained, by being pruned at the right time and with the proper equipment. Therefore, follow a few recommendations to keep the hedge healthy and to make it as attractive as possible.

Advice and recommendations for pruning hedges 

Typically, a hedge acts as a barrier or boundary, and an owner tends to want to see it grow as quickly as possible.Therefore, the owner will be tempted to leave it to develop on its own, without really thinking about pruning. Instead, an initial pruning is recommended one year after planting. Its purpose will be to make the shrub’s base thicker and more robust. This is shape pruning, and it must be done in late winter, when you are sure there will no longer be frost. Be especially careful not to cut the top branch or the main branches’ terminal buds until the shrub has reached its final height. Once it is aged two or three years, the hedge will need maintenance pruning, an operation which will be renewed depending on the shrub’s species. Among these, regular hedge pruning will need to occur three times a year; first during the second half of May, then in late July and finally in late September. Note that pruning can also determine the shape you want to give the shrub, whether it is rectangular, trapezoidal or rounded. In regard to informal hedges, pruning is performed less often. It relates to hedges made up of various shrubs, and aims at maintaining their aesthetic appearance. For that purpose, it is advised to cut and remove all dead and old branches, as well as those showing signs of disease. Finally, there is the pruning of older hedgerows in need of restoration for which a significant intervention is necessary. Therefore, it is recommended to proceed with extensive pruning in early spring, not hesitating to cut even the largest branches. Understand that this advice does not apply to conifer hedges. Generally, if one wishes to have a nice, dense and well-trained hedge, it is necessary to prune it regularly, as pruning does not hinder its growth. To prune hedges, one must be equipped with adequate pruning gear including shears, hedge trimmer, loppers, clippers and garden cords.

Required tools for pruning hedges 

It is the type of hedge, as well as its size, that determines the choice of tools. There also exist electric or pneumatic hedge-trimmers. The second option is preferable if the size of the hedgerow is important. It is also more powerful and easier to handle, but remains more expensive than its electric counterpart. Both are used in the same manner, in a motion from the bottom to the top of the hedge. Precision work will be done using clippers or pruning shears. Use stakes and cords to determine the height and alignment. Throughout the process, it is necessary to step back once in a while to check the quality of the work. When one is so well-equipped, pruning can be performed under the best possible conditions.

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Published in Hedges by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011