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Easy Hedge Trimming Technique

If up until now you’ve done the bare minimum to keep an unruly hedge from taking over the garden then it might be time to up your game. Prepare to set the standard for hedge trimming skills in your neighbourhood. After all, your hedge can say as much about you as your beard….

When To Trim Your Hedge

Some of the younger hedges will need a fair amount of formative pruning in their first few years. This type of activity is best carried out in the winter or spring months before the growth starts again. After this, standard maintenance trimming will be required to keep the hedges looking their best.

To make things tricky, deciding when to get the hedge trimmer out as well as the trimming technique can differ depending on the type of hedge. It all comes down to whether your green nemesis is a formal or informal hedge. A formal hedge is usually kept very neat and is tightly clipped whereas an informal hedge is less tightly controlled and can have more of a natural shape. Formal hedges will require trimming much more often than informal hedges.

More often than not, most hedges will fall somewhere in the middle of these two styles. The amount of trimming any hedge will require will ultimately depend on the choice of plant as well as its growing conditions. The faster it grows, the more often you will need to stay on top of it.

Before You Start

This may sound obvious but is the weather right for you to be cutting the hedge here? This is important however, for example, if you have an electric or battery trimmer it is not advisable to be trimming in the rain.

Assuming all is well with the weather, you will need to make sure your equipment is in a good condition. If it has been sitting in the shed for months it may have gremlins in the works that could stop it from performing to its best so it's a good idea to make sure it is working well.

Before you get going, it is worth also taking a moment to size up the natural dimensions of the plant. The last thing you want to do is to cut back the hedge too far and then find that it looks abnormal.

Cutting Technqiue

Depending on how old your hedge is, you may need to put extra work in to establish it in the desired shape. New hedges should be trimmed regularly from an early stage so you can grow it in the shape you want. It will also prevent unhealthy growth. Shaping early, therefore, is important to the long-term health and strength of the hedge.

Start by holding the hedge trimmer in both hands with a shore footing. Keeping your balance at a comfortable distance to the hedge will make it much safer and easier to get job done. To get the most even cut, start with the sides of the hedges first and cut from the bottom up in a circular motion. This will help remove the branches away from the hedge and will show you where you are cutting next. When it is time to cut the top of the hedge, hold the trimmer directly out in front of you and cut using a sweeping sideways motion. This will keep the top nice and neat. To make things easier machines like the McCulloch Ergolite has an adjustable handle that can make this much simpler.

It is important to ensure the hedge is wider at the base of the hedge than the top. This makes sure that the lower part gets more sunlight and isn’t dwarfed by the top part. As the hedge establishes itself you will be grateful for this, as it will mean the growth is even and will save you a lot of recovery work further down the line.

Depending on the size of the hedge you may want to clean up as you go. If you place a sheet on the ground before you start you can then easily collect the debris in one handy location. This waste can then be a handy addition to your compost heap and the rest of your garden will thank you for that!

Creative Topiary

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous you could create amazing sculptures out of your hedge that will make you the talk of the town. Some of them don't even need to be that complicated to make a big impact. Typically evergreen shrubs and trees can be sculpted into amazing shapes and all it takes is the right planning and a bit of imagination.

Decide on the shape you want before you begin and then you can get cracking. Often, you can do a lot of the work free hand with your trimmer or clippers but you may need a wire frame in order to get the more intricate details perfect. Secure the wire shape over the plant then as the growth pokes through the wire mesh you can then clip into shape. If possible, you should try to find a single central stem that the whole hedge can be anchored to. It will then make the whole endeavour that much easier.

Once you have understood the principles the only limits will be that of your own imagination.

Ready to up your game with a new powerful hedge trimmer? Look no further and discover the McCulloch hedge trimmer range now!