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
- 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.
If you can’t reach or see the top your hedge, use a step stool rather than stretching and straining.
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.
Round designs are easier to maintain than square ones. New growth is less noticeable on round tops and snow falls off round tops, too.
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.
Don’t cut too deeply or your plants will look dead. Leave a thick layer of greenery beneath your cuts.
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.
Did You Know:
The Timberline Lodge, used as the Overlook Hotel in the film The Shining, does not actually have a hedge maze on its grounds.