Pruning is done to enhance the growth of plants and trees in your garden. When pruning, there are certain factors that need to be considered to ensure its success. Both knowledge and skills are needed to properly handle and accomplish pruning tasks.
It is important to carry out proper pruning methods to maintain plant health and improve the quality of flowers or foliage. Incorrect pruning causes damage ranging from minor to major ones, depending on the species of plants and their health at the time of pruning.
Effects of improper pruning:
- Plants are weakened or they become deformed
- Reduced food production
- Improper cuts may lead to decay or diseases
- Increased chances of wind or ice damage
Ensure proper pruning by:
- Planning and preparing before starting work
- Choosing the correct tools
- Identifying the plants and shrubs in your garden
- Pruning at the right time
- Utilising correct pruning methods
- Making clean cuts to avoid stubs that are hard to heal over
Different types of pruning methods
- Cleaning method
This is considered to be a selective kind of pruning that involves removing the dead, diseased, and broken branches or stems. By doing this, the risk of movement decay is reduced. The cleaning method is ideal for mature or established plants because there is no need to unnecessarily remove live stems.
- Reducing method
A selective pruning method that aims to decrease the height or spread of the plant. This is done to make plants look more tidy and attractive, to minimise the risk of failure, and to clear overgrowth in unneeded areas like structures and buildings. The reducing method is not ideal for all plants and shrubs, so it is important to consider the species and health of the plants.
- Thinning method
The thinning method is also considered a type of selective pruning that aims to decrease the density of live branches. It is usually done to allow air and sunlight to penetrate the inner parts of the plant. This is usually done on plants with thick foliage or ones that have a large volume of stems and leaves.
- Raising method
This is a selective pruning method that is used to provide vertical clearance for buildings, vehicles, and pedestrians. This is done by removing or reducing the lower branches of a tree or plant. The raising method is commonly used in trees near commercial buildings and residential houses.
Not all pruning practices are safe for plants. Some may do more harm than good, resulting in plant injury and death.
Hedges are planted to form an attractive boundary and structure to a garden. They add beauty and value to any property. Like other plants, they also require maintenance through watering and trimming. As they grow, cutting them regularly will ensure they stay neat and in shape.
When to Trim Hedges
New hedges should undergo formative pruning during their early years. This is done to form its shape and ensure it grows healthily. When the hedge is established, proper maintenance should be carried out on a regular basis.
The season and frequency of hedge trimming depends on the species. Basically, they are pruned late in the winter when the plant is dormant. It is also important to remember not to cut too early in the year, so as not to disturb the nesting of birds.
Tools to Use
There are a lot of tools you can choose from. Consider the quality, not just the price, when choosing. Make sure your tools are sharp and working. Blades that are dull or blunt do not really cut the branches and leaves, but rather tear them. Use the correct equipment for specific types of hedges. The commonly used tools for trimming hedges are:
- Hand pruners
- Hedge clippers
- Pruning loppers
- Curved saw
- Electrical hedge trimmers
How to Correctly Trim Hedges
Trim your hedges into beautiful shapes. To do this, you should start by getting rid of the larger branches sticking out. Proceed with fine pruning to keep the hedge looking tidy and in good form. Ideally, hedge sides are trimmed wider at the base so that the light from the sun can penetrate the leaves at the bottom.
Trim chest-high hedges on the sides first. To trim chest-high hedges, cut the sides vertically using an arc-shaped sweeping motion. Start at the back moving forward. Then, cut the top of the hedge. Do this by holding the cutter bar horizontally at a slight 10-degree angle.
Trim tall hedges at the top first. Use the correct cutter and angle it at a slight 10-degree and start cutting the top of the hedges. Proceed with cutting the sides of the hedges.
Proper maintenance is important to keep hedges compact and lovely to look at. Once in a while, they also require fertiliser to give them energy and stimulate their growth. And keep in mind, when you find cutting hedges a nearly impossible task, you can always call in experts to help you.
Autumn brings about a lot of cleaning and sprucing chores. A lot of these jobs will require you to stay outdoors, and most of these are all about or related to gardening.
Pruning your plants is an important gardening chore you should not neglect doing this autumn. This is because you need to prepare them for the negative effects that the winter season will bring. Trimming is one of the best ways you can boost a plant’s defense against pests and diseases. In addition, pruning hedges in autumn will promote tight, green growth in the plant which will have the chance to harden off before there is frost.
The Right Hedge Trimming Process
When trimming your hedges this autumn, you need to make sure you remove all dead and diseased wood and competing branches since they can chafe and infect the healthy ones. You also have to get rid of all dead leaves since pests, particularly insects, will spend the winter in hollow straws and seed stems. You also have to trim parts of the hedge that have already strayed too far and could be preventing people from safely using paths.
Although a lot of things will have to go, you should still trim and cut with restraint. This is because frost can damage cuts and freeze the back branches. If you cut too much, the plant will suffer frost damage and you won’t be able to correct it in the spring. As such, cut less away now so that your freedom to care for your plants won’t be restricted when spring comes.
Below are some additional care and maintenance tips for your hedges you should take note of this autumn season:
- Make sure you sharpen your cutting tools before using them to trim your hedges to minimise the risk of tearing branches you don’t want to remove.
- If you’re pruning rounded and small hedges, use shears since this tool enables you to make very precise cuts for these types of hedges. To make the job easier and to reduce tearing, you will do well to use shears with wavy blades and gears.
- To have an easier time trimming long, straight hedges, use a powered hedge trimmer.
- Disinfect the tools as you go, particularly before use for different types of plants, to prevent diseases from being spread around the garden. You can wipe the trimming tool or trimmer’s blade using disinfectant wipes or dip it into a bucket of diluted bleach.
- Lastly, cut in stages if you are removing a thick branch. Start on the underside then cut from the top to meet the undercut and prevent the bark from tearing.
Regardless of the season, beautiful, thriving hedges add to the appeal of your garden and your property. You can maintain and enhance their quality this autumn by following the right trimming steps and techniques.
What makes a garden, a lawn, or a property impressive and unforgettable? One answer would be uniquely designed hedges.
Hedges are created to serve a variety of purposes in a certain space. The most common purpose is to create a boundary around a property. Hedges are also added to create a beautiful backdrop that blends well with the surroundings. In addition, they serve as borders or outlines to pathways to protect the plant-beds from being stepped on.
Besides aesthetics, hedges also create solitary outdoor living spaces by offering more privacy around your property. They also reduce noise and block strong winds.
To get the most out of your hedges, it would be best to incorporate unique designs in your garden or property.
Hedges as living fences
Instead of using fences to separate the structural area in your property from your landscape or garden, why not use hedges instead? Tall hedges can be planted and formed as living fences to bridge the space between a commercial building and a landscape or between your home and your garden.
Hedges as mazes
Hedges used to create labyrinths and mazes never get old. The complexity and mystery of the designs will definitely grab every person’s attention. They give a space a different look not commonly seen anywhere.
Hedges as vertical gardens
Vertical gardens, also called wall gardens, have been thriving since ancient civilization. Incorporating hedges in your vertical garden will give your wall an elegant and sleek look.
Shaped hedges as borders
Aside from the usual geometrical shapes you find as borders and outlines, hedges can also be trimmed to form other structures. They can be trimmed to look like your favorite cartoon character or they can be formed into animal shapes.
Your own sense of style
What better way to create a unique hedge design, than to incorporate your own style vision? By adding your personal flair, you can create designs and pieces that are significant to you.
A fusion of distinct styles
Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? A combination of contemporary and old-fashioned hedge designs can give your property an unparalleled look.
Trimming and molding hedges require skill and creativity. It demands a certain level of competence and physical strength to operate the equipment needed in order to accomplish the job. Whenever hedge designing becomes too tough to handle, calling in experts is the best thing to do.
Pruning or trimming is an important aspect of gardening. It allows hedges to grow and stay in shape. Seasoned gardeners are aware of the need to regularly trim their hedges, the right equipment to use, and the best time to do it.
Beginners, on the other hand, may struggle with these things. Basic knowledge and skills are fundamental to ensuring having healthy and established hedges.
What is hedge trimming?
Hedge trimming is the process of cutting or removing dead and overgrown branches. It is done to allow new growth and to make hedges look tidy and neat.
When is the best time to trim?
Effective trimming does not only mean doing it well’ it is also about knowing when is the best time to do it and what tools should be used. Consider the type of hedges you have and identify the best time to trim them.
New hedges require more attention during their formative years (usually the first two years). Regular formative trimming will ensure thick and healthy growth, which is important in establishing an attractive hedge.
Most established hedges will require trimming about twice a year. It should be done once at the beginning of spring when there is new growth to remove stray branches and dead woods and allow sunlight to penetrate the inner branches. The next one is done at the beginning of summer to maintain its shape.
What tools are used?
- Hand shears – The best choice for home gardeners and beginners. They are quiet and are safer to use.
- Pruning saw – The ideal tool for larger branches that are too thick to cut with a shear.
- Electric trimmer – The ideal tool for trimming large areas when hand-trimming is not suitable.
- Safety Equipment – Earmuffs, Visor and Gloves
Basic Trimming Practices
- Use sharp cutting tools to avoid tearing. When your tools start to get dull, it is time to have them sharpened.
- Clean your tools after use and disinfect as you use from plant to plant.
- Cut dead or diseased branches first. Removing dead branches will encourage growth and allow light to enter the inner areas.
- Cut the branches clean. It’s best to cut the branches close to the nodes or trunk because diseases can easily penetrate the stubs.
- Check the plant’s condition after trimming. Fertilise and mulch to encourage growth.
Maintaining hedges may seem like a lot of work, especially during their formative stage. But once they are established, they require less attention. It just takes the right tools, patience, and careful planning to keep them healthy and attractive.
It is common knowledge: a garden is made up of different species of plants. These plants can be ornamental, fruit- or vegetable-bearing, functional, or even all three. Some types of foliage, though, can be both decorative and, at the same time, functional elements of a garden. Hedges are one of these.
Hedges can provide a visual barrier around a property or within a garden. A dense hedge can help stifle traffic noise from a busy street. It can also act as an effective windbreak. A hedge made of spiky plants can also act as a physical deterrent to unwanted guests, pests, and even dogs and cats that will intrude into and damage your yard. When designed properly, hedges can also be used in artistic ways to partition your garden to create rooms or areas.
Hedges As Garden Frames
One technique used by seasoned landscapers for designing amazing landscape designs is framing. This helps create a clean and tidy look for a garden.
Low hedges make for great frames. From a distance, hedges that are about 600 millimetres high and wide not only hide any unruly weeds but unify the mixture of plantings you may have beyond the garden beds. If your property has a mixed border or garden on the whole, the hedge can pull everything together into something more unified.
Aside from acting as frames, low-growing hedges can serve other purposes, too. They can edge a path, surround a pond, water feature, or swimming pool, and even separate areas within your yard.
Plants that work best as low hedges include the Buxus Faulkner or Japanese box, Buxus Harlandii, and Murraya or orange jessamine.
The conventional image of a hedge is one of a neatly clipped, straight, and box-shaped living fence. This pertains to the classical, formal design of a hedge. However, an informal hedge, or one that is permitted to grow without intensive shaping or to follow a straight line, also offers benefits as well. A meandering hedge can look amazing if it complements a less formal garden design. This type of hedge also has the remarkable advantage of being allowed to flower and, in some cases, even produce ornamental or edible berries, too.
Choosing the Right Plant for Your Hedge
The first important element to look for in the right plant to grow as hedges is its being extremely hardy and long-lived so that gaps or spaces do not develop as it grows. In addition, you also have to consider your yard’s soil type and the local climate.
If you want to have a formal hedge, keep in mind that this will have to be clipped often to maintain a particular shape. Plants with relatively small leaves such as the box varieties are the best options since they can be trimmed as often as needed without looking ragged. If you want to have less formal hedges, opt for larger leaved plants such as Photinia.
Hedges are great to plant to enjoy attractive outdoor spaces, create privacy, and buffer noise in the neighbourhood. With a lot of species to choose from, it can be difficult to select the best plant for hedging.
Besides Lilly Pillies, here are some other plants that can be used to create appealing hedges;
Buxus, also known as Boxwood, is an evergreen shrub that is considered ideal for sculpting. They can be shaped into perfect geometric shapes, making them ideal as border plants. They thrive in well-drained soil under partial to full sunlight. They are fragrant, low maintenance, and deer resistant.
Azaleas are considered tough, beautifully blooming shrubs. They are ideal to use as borders and as plants in landscapes. Like the Boxwood, they also thrive in well-drained soil under partial to full sunlight. They are heat- and cold-tolerant and lace bug-resistant.
Indian Hawthorn, also known as Rhaphiolepis Indica, are super tough shrubs that grow white and pink flowers that are very decorative. They are great for home and commercial landscapes and gardens. They thrive in sandy to well-drained clay types of soil under moderate shade to full sunlight. They are attractive and tolerant of extreme weather.
The Coastal Westringia, also known as Westringia, are a type of shrubs that are great for hedging. They are considered medium to tall hedging plants that have tidy form and mauve-coloured flowers. They thrive in sandy to well-drained types of soil under partial shade to full sunlight. They are fast-establishing hedges that require less pruning.
The Iresine herbstii, also known as Herbst’s bloodleaf, belongs to a species of flowering plants that can add a contrast in colour to any garden. They are commonly used as foliage in gardens and as small borders and hedges. They grow in moist, loamy, top-heavy soil types under partial shade to full sunlight. In places where frost is expected, they are best kept in sheltered areas. They are compact and tidy plants that require less pruning.
Callistemon Viminalis, also known as Weeping Bottlebrush, is commonly used as hedges. This plant grows in most types of soil under partial shade to full sunlight. They are drought- and frost-tolerant and require less pruning. They also thrive well in windy areas.
These are just some of the most popular plants for hedging in Australia. You may choose to have different species planted in your property. The most important things to consider before choosing are the place you live in, the type of soil in your area, and how much time you can devote to maintenance work.
Whether you have a small or large yard, when designed and planted properly, hedges can give your outdoor space an additional charming quality. They can be functional garden features as well since they divide rooms or areas in your lawn and tall hedges can minimise outside noise and even block strong winds.
In Australia, there are four popular types of plants used to grow as hedges. These are:
Buxus, also known as boxwood, is perhaps the most well-known and popular choice for hedge plants. It is distinguished by its small leaves which gives it its primary advantage over other plant species. This is because the size of leaves can create a formal, tight hedge. It is a slow-growing plant and therefore easy to shape into a formal hedging style. It works best as a driveway or garden bed boundary.
For subtropical areas such as Southeast QLD and Northern NSW and temperate areas including Sydney, Victoria, and NSW’s coastal area, the English Box is the best species to grow as hedges.
If you want a taller hedge that has the look of boxwoods, you can go for murrayas. Their creamy white flowers have a sweet orange scent when they bloom. They are easy to care for and are disease-free. This plant has a dense, twiggy habit and foliage that is glossy green in colour. Since they can grow really tall, they are great as a privacy screen or hedge.
Murrayas grow best in areas with a warm climate including Sydney and Perth and other northern areas.
Lilly pillies are native Australian plants. They are evergreen rainforest plants with glossy green leaves. They come in different varieties that can have flushes of colourful new growth, from bright pink to red-brown. Most lilly pillies have fluffy white or greenish flowers followed by long-lasting red, purple or whitish berries from spring to early summer.
Lilly pillies grow well and are quite popular in NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, and WA.
Most viburnums are very hardy and can easily grow in sunny or partly shaded areas as long as there is moist and well-drained soil. Some species are drought-tolerant; however, they will require additional water during the hotter seasons.
Viburnum odoratissimum and tinus are the two most common hedging varieties of viburnum. Odoratissimum is popular and grows well in QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, and WA. Tinus, on the other hand, thrives well in temperate areas including Sydney.
To choose the best plant species to grow as a hedge, make sure you consider various key factors such as the type of soil you have, the local weather condition, and the plant’s typical water amount requirement.
Giving your hedge the right size and shape you want it to have requires the use of the appropriate hedging tools and equipment. With the wide variety of gardening tools and equipment designed for the purpose of trimming and shaping a hedge, you will have difficulties selecting the best one to purchase.
A hedge trimmer is the perfect piece of gardening equipment you need to have well-maintained hedges. This gardening tool can save you time and prevent aching arms when you’re working on your hedges. In addition, using this piece of equipment will help you get a clean, neat and sharp finish to your hedge.
To make sure you invest in the right hedge trimmer, take note of the following tips:
- Consider the trimmer’s weight. Keep in mind that you will be using the trimmer for long periods of time, especially if you have hedges surrounding your house or yard. As such, make sure you select a hedge trimmer that’s not too heavy to hold and is well-balanced.
- Determine its primary use. Will you be doing a lot of heavy cutting or will you use the equipment to simply trim leaves? If you will be regularly cutting heavy, bulky branches, you will require a more powerful model. Models with wide teeth spacing are more suitable for heavy-duty hedging. Hedge trimmers with narrow teeth, on the other hand, are more suitable for trimming leaves and regular hedges.
- Consider the blade length you require. The right length of the blade to choose depends greatly on how much hedge you have to trim. Trimmers with large blades allow more hedging to be cut faster but they are heavier and more unwieldy than those with shorter ones. For extensive hedging, it is best to get a tool with a 75cm blade. For normal hedging, a trimmer with 35-60cm blade is usually sufficient.
- Factor in the trimmer’s vertical edging features. Vertical edging is easier if you use a trimmer with a rotating head. Also, if the trimmer has a wraparound front handle with multiple switches, you will have an easier time switching from cutting horizontally to vertically.
- Look for good safety features. In terms of safety features, a hand guard will help protect the user from debris coming from the trimming process. Also, a good safety feature to look for is a safety switch on both handles so that the trimmer won’t start or run unless both handles are gripped. This effectively keeps your hands out of harm’s way.
- Source of power. Cordless, battery-powered trimmers are easier and less stressful to use since you won’t need to worry about straying too far from the power source or constantly snagging cords on ladders or foliage. A trimmer that runs on batteries also operates on full power until they become empty. As such, you won’t have to worry about its efficiency running at less than 100% once it slowly powers down to empty.
Choosing the right trimmer can help you have an easier time improving and maintaining your hedges. Take the time to study the available products so that you can make the right decision when it’s time to buy.
Aside from water and sunlight, plants and shrubs also need to be regularly pruned. Pruning is a garden maintenance task that involves the removal of certain parts of a plant such as the branches and the leaves. This is done to remove deadwood, promote growth, and maintain their shapes.
Choosing the right pruning tools is important in determining how well you can do the job and how long it will take you to do it. There are a lot of tools available in the market today; they vary in design, shape, and size. So, how do you know you are choosing the right one?
What features to look for in a pruner:
- A high-quality blade
- An ergonomic or comfortable design
- Easy to clean and assemble
Things to consider when choosing pruning shears:
- The type of pruning shear
Pruning shears come in two basic types: bypass pruners and anvil pruners. Bypass pruners have two curved blades that move past each other. One of the blades is sharp and the other one is thicker and less sharp. This type of pruner is known to give the cleanest cut.
On the other hand, anvil pruners have one straight blade. The blade cuts and closes onto a flat edge, the anvil. This type of pruner is recommended for cutting dead wood because the blade often crushes stems when cutting.
- The design of the shear
Ergonomic pruners are designed to reduce wrist strain and hand fatigue. They are often curved in shape and have soft-grip handles and angled blades. These ergonomically designed shears are ideal if you have a lot of plants and shrubs to prune.
- The size and weight of the shear
Choose a size and weight that will be easy for you to hold and use. Small pruners may only be able to cut smaller branches. Heavier pruners may cause more fatigue when used for a long time. Considering the types of plants you have and how much time you spend pruning will help you decide.
- Easy to disassemble and put back
There are pruners that can be disassembled and there are those that cannot be taken apart. Pruners that can be disassembled are easier to clean and sharpen. This is important because dirt and sap build up on the blades and between the handles as you start to make use of your pruners. Therefore, regular cleaning is vital to ensure that your pruners last a long time.