Trimming is the job of cutting your hedge regularly to encourage strong growth for a full, dense, hedge. Trimming maintains shape and keeps the hedge at a manageable height and width.
Top tips to make trimming hedges easier
Avoid very fast-growing species and keep the hedge to a height that is easy for you to reach. Also, keep the hedge narrow to avoid reaching across and straining.
- You may find trimming the lower areas of a hedge easier from a kneeling position.
- Keep shears and other cutting tools sharp, clean, well oiled and adjusted. Don’t try to cut material that is too thick with shears – carry secateurs to cut through any thicker stems and use long reach secateurs if needed.
- If you find cutting the hedge difficult, an alternative such as a wall or fence - with climbing plants - can be wildlife-friendly, attractive options.
- Depending on the size of your hedge, this is a job that you might decide to get regular help with.
- Always ‘warm up’ with a few gentle stretches before starting work, keep your back straight and only work for short periods, to avoid strain. Only cut where you can reach
comfortably, tackle a bit at a time and take rests.
Conventional hedging shears can often cause neck, back and arm problems. Try to work with the shears as close to your body as possible and hold them just below chest height.
- If you are sitting or kneeling to trim
- Wear suitable shoes and clothing to protect your feet and legs. Safety glasses are necessary when using powered trimmers.
Equipment and tools
A half-size pair of hedge shears is lighter than conventional shears and will take less effort to use.
- Super sharp shears, with shorter blades and long handles, are lighter, and suitable for more delicate trimming, such as topiary, or you can use one-handed shears.
- A lightweight telescopic hedge shear helps you to reach further.
- Battery powered shears are ideal for trimming soft foliage and for light hedge trimming.
- A long-reach battery powered trimmer can be useful if you have good balance and upper body strength.