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Here's a little how-to on pruning your hedges correctly so that your neighbors won't judge your sunbathing activities next summer
Hedges have been around for a whopping 4,000 years or more, and have become a popular garden feature around the world. These structures require some care and attention now and then to keep them looking their best, so it is important that you carry out yearly pruning, especially if you want to keep up with the Jones’s and cause a bit of hedge envy.
Regardless of what your hedge is made of, you’ll need to prune back plants in the summer to maintain their shape and size. You’ll also need to prune hedges later in the year too, and deciduous plants will need a formative winter prune, whilst evergreens will need to be cut in early spring. Make sure your hedge is wider at the bottom than at the top to allow light to reach all levels. Meanwhile, don’t prune back to dead or leafless wood, as many plants will not tolerate such a harsh cut. Instead, simply remove the current year’s growth back to leafy shoots. Dead wood is indicated by brown twigs and a lack of leaves.
Formal hedges are created from dense planting, and they’ll often need an extra prune to keep those carefully clipped lines looking perfect. Loppers and hedge-trimmers can be used to ensure that the cut is perfectly straight, and if you’re really obsessive, you can use a taught piece of string to get the desired look.
Informal hedges use large-leaved and flowering shrubs, and provide an attractive feature that looks a little more natural. Though hedge-trimmers can be used, it’s often best to utilise secateurs and loppers for trimming so that you don’t get ugly looking half cut leaves and branches sticking out.
Trimming twice a year
Twice a year trim the hedge with either loppers, secateurs or hedge-trimmers depending on the type of the plants used. Do it once in the summer and again in the winter for deciduous hedges or early spring for the evergreen ones.
Prune away greenery
On dense hedges made of small leaved plants, such as conifers, use a hedge trimmer to lightly prune away greenery.
Cut in stages
Cut in stages, standing back after each trim to ensure you have the right shape.
Don’t forget to clean up the removed branches after the job is done.