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
Trimming the tops of hedges is a task you can tackle by pegging a string at the required height. Use one-handed shears with blades that swivel 90 or 180 degrees. Set the blade in the horizontal position and place your hand over the top of the shears – never in front of them. Keep the blades as flat as you can and trim slowly along the top of the hedge while feeling the string with your other hand. Never try to cut off too much at once, conservative cutting at a steady pace is the best way!
- Avoid very fast-growing species of hedges and keep the hedge to a height that is easy to reach.
- 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.
- Hold any cutting tools close to your body and don’t be tempted to over stretch. Tackle a section of the hedge at a time to avoid getting over tired.
Equipment and tools
One-handed shears are the best tool for trimming hedges when you have sight loss. These can be operated with one hand and on some models the blades swivel 90 or 180 degrees.
- 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 thick stems.