Hedge Trimming for Beginners

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

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.

Established Hedges

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.