How to Make Hedge Trimming Easier

Trimming your hedges regularly will keep them looking full and attractive.

You will need

  • A hand trimmer
  • An electric or gas trimmer
  • A drop cloth
  • Bamboo stakes
  • String
  • Lopping shears
  • A step stool (optional)

Step 1 Use the proper tools Use a small hand trimmer if you are doing only minor manicuring. For larger jobs, use an electric or gas trimmer.

Step 2 Lay down a drop cloth Spread a drop cloth around the base of the hedge to catch falling debris.

Step 3 Visualize shape Stand at a distance from the hedge and visualize the shape you want to construct.

Step 4 Mark guide lines For flat tops, put bamboo stakes at either end of the hedge and attach string between them. Use the string as a guide for level trimming.

Step 5 Remove branches Remove branches in your cutting path that are too large for your trimmer to handle. Use lopping shears for branches more than ¼-inch in diameter.

Step 6 Trim Run your trimmer along the lines you visualized, moving your body to avoid overreaching at any point.

Step 7 Visualize again Step back periodically to make sure you’re cutting along the edges of your visualized shape. Make a final sweep to smooth out any rough spots.

Step 8 Clean up Brush the cut pieces off the shrubbery. Fold up the edges of your drop cloth for easy disposal or composting, and put away your equipment.