How to trim hedges: a step-by-step guide

Gardens can boost any home’s attractiveness and appeal—especially when maintained well. This can be an arduous task, so it’s common to have someone help you with your gardening to give it that extra TLC.

One of the garden plants that need extra attention is your hedges. And just like any of the plants in your garden, hedges require maintenance, watering, and trimming. If you feel up for the task and have the right tools, you can do this yourself.

Here is a step-by-step guide that will teach you how to trim your hedges the right way.

Tools you’ll need to trim your hedges

Be sure that your garden shed is stocked with all the materials you’ll need to trim your hedges. Always prioritize its quality over its price. You will want sharp and functional blades and shears to have. Here are some common tools used for trimming hedges:

  • Hedge clippers

  • Electrical hedge trimmers

  • Step ladder

  • Hand pruners

  • Pruning loppers

  • Curved saw

  • Blower

When do you prune and trim hedges?

man trimming top of a hedge

There are two steps in maintaining your hedges: trimming and pruning. These are done at different times, depending on the season. Pruning focuses on removing overgrown or dead branches and stems from your hedge to promote its growth. On the other hand, trimming your hedges is about maintaining their shape and finish. 

Here is a guide on when to prune different types of hedges:

  • Evergreen Hedges require pruning during the winter season since these hedges tend to grow slower than others. It usually starts to show growth during the summer season. 

  • Deciduous hedges grow much faster. It is best to prune these plants after the plants bloom in the spring. This is done to allow buds to set for the following spring season. 

Most plants should be pruned late in winter when they are dormant. Avoid trimming during nesting season early in the year to make way for birds’ nests that may be growing in the plants. 

How to trim your hedges

The steps below walk you through how to trim your hedges: 

Step 1: Trim the body of the hedge

trimming the body of the hedge

Using a hedge trimmer, start at the near bottom of the hedge and work your way upwards. Move your trimmer at a slow, stable pace to control its motion. 

Step 2: Trim the sides

trimming the sides of the hedge

Hold your trimmer at a 10-degree angle when you trim the sides of the bush. This allows your hedges to be wider at the bottom and slightly narrower at the top. Having your hedge in a tapered shape helps sunlight reach your hedge's lower branches and roots. 

Step 3: Trim the top of the hedge

trimming the top of the hedgeLevel your hold on your hedge trimmer to cut the top of your hedge flat. Use guided left-to-right and right-to-left motions as you trim the top of the hedge.

Step 4: Clean up your mess

cleaning up your garden

Using a blower, you can get rid of excess debris in your hedge. Sweep away any branches and leaves you’ve trimmed to give your hedge a neat and pristine look. 

Get extra help from a gardener

If you still feel apprehensive about trimming and pruning your hedge, you can always hire a hedge trimmer to get the task done for you. Don’t put off trimming your hedges: Post a task today!