HOW TO

TRIM A GARDEN HEDGE

TYPES OF HEDGES

Hedges not only beautify your garden they also protect your garden from the wind and provide visual barriers for increased privacy. It is important to monitor their order and neatness through regular trimming.

There are many types of hedges that offer differing ranges of size, colour and maintenance requirements. You can even choose informal hedges with plants that will give you beautiful flowers and aromas such as lavender and hydrangeas. For this brochure we are focusing on formal hedges that provide shelter and boundaries. If you are looking for a low hedge it's best to choose one which is slow growing, such as an English or Japanese Box. For a high hedge, we can recommend the Conifer range and others such as the Photinias and the Escallonia. Make sure to ask your nursery to assist you in choosing hedging plants that are suitable to your environment.
TRIMMING YOUR HEDGES

Light pruning or trimming keeps your hedge in shape and encourages healthy, dense growth. When you are growing a low hedge it is important to trim the plant tops so that the hedge will fill-out (Fig 2). With a high hedge, wait until the trees are well developed then trim. The best time for pruning is when the plant is the most active, generally spring or autumn - avoid trimming in the peak of summer. Deciduous hedges will also respond well to winter pruning.avoid trimming in the peak of
KEEPING IT STRAIGHT

One of the most crucial factors when cutting a hedge is keeping your cutting straight and consistent. An easy and efficient way of achieving this is to use a guideline. Simply use a length of string stretched tautly between two stakes as a guide for accuracy. On wide hedges you can trim half the width from one side and repeat from the other. You also have an option to taper your hedge sides to 15° or 20° (Fig 3). The sides of the hedge should taper slightly towards the top to allow light and rainwater to reach lower foliage and the ground at the base. You can use a string line positioned at the base and top to use as a guideline.
START TRIMMING

It is important to start clipping some hedging species at an early stage to prevent bare leggy growth. Immediately after planting, cut evergreens, such as box and lonicera, back by one third to achieve a dense base. A little drastic perhaps, but this will ensure a lot of new growth particularly from the base of the plant and will avoid the appearance of small leafless trunks or gaps. Prune regularly until you reach the desired height then prune when necessary to maintain neatness and size. By pruning regularly you avoid cutting into thick stems resulting in the appearance of woody ends in the hedge.

Fig 1. A hedge is a great naural alternative to a fence, providing shelter and security.

Angle of taper

TOOLS •Secateurs •Hedging shears •Hedge trimmers •Ladder MATERIALS •Guide posts •Sting SAFETY •Always keep tools and materials away from children. •Do not overreach •Wear an appropriate dusk mask, garden gloves, safety glasses and ear protection when using power tools. Fig 3. The hedge should taper slightly towards the top to allow light and rainwater to reach lower foliage and the ground at the base.

Although every care has been taken to ensure that the information and advice given in this guide is authoritative no legal liability is accepted for such information and advice.

Fig 2. It is important to trim the plant tops so that the hedge will fill-out .

For further expert advice consult the qualified team members at your local Bunnings Warehouse.

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