We have decided to try to do the top 10 must frequently asked hedge trimming questions for you all. These are in no particular order, just 10 questions that people have asked us both on the phone and via social media. At the end of the day we just sell the garden ladders and can’t help you with the work load. But maybe this Q&A session will help you decide what to do. All answers are supplied by various staff and web resources. Anyway…
Q1)Is it best to wait until the blooms fade on a privet hedge before trimming it?
A1) Sounds like privet. I cut mine after it has flowered cos I quite like the smell and look, small as they are, but it really doesn’t matter when you cut privet as it’s very resilient. Just make sure to cut narrower at the top and broader at the bottom so the lower parts get plenty of light. If you were wanted to cut it right down to the ground, however, then this would best be done early spring to give it time to grow again.
I’d agree with the other guys, privet is remarkably tolerant as long as you don’t get too enthusiastic. However, if you trim it now you’ll obviously lose the flowers, which some people (me included) like. If that doesn’t bother you, go ahead. This time of year it’ll generate new leaves anyway. As Avalon says, taper it towards the top so it gets as much light as possible.
Q2) Trimming a laurel hedge? (I have a tall skinny stick looking laurel hedge and want it to bush out,do i trim the tops to encourage outward growth and will it still carry on growing upwards later on.)
A1) Every time you cut a branch it splits in two so the plant gets bushier. If it’s very straggly then it’s best to cut it back pretty hard then give it more regular haircuts from then on.
cut it back as far as lowest shoot or to where it look best their very Hardie really can’t go wrong , cut my laurels often to keep in trim , as for cut branches plant in soil they just grow and grow now have full-scale hedge and yes it will keep growing upwards and outwards if you let it ….can prune most of year just love the shiny leaves great for flower arranging
Q3) When should I start to trim the hedge?
A3) Late February is best for hedges that produce berries that birds eat. If you do it in autumn, you will cut away this important food source for birds. Not every hedge bears fruit, so bear this in mind
Depends what type it is. I have cut loads of hedges of different sorts. If you cut it in Spring it will grow throughout the season so if there are gaps that need filling this is a good time. As most hedges don’t flower you don;t have to worry about that so start when it get new shoots on it. Some conifer hedges don’t like to be cut back to old wood (they won’t shoot again) so be careful if its one of those. Privet is really easy – you won’t do much harm to it whatever you do (I once reduced the width a privet hedge by 3 feet its height by 6 feet . I did it all in one go – and it recovered)
Q4) Can you trim a hedge with a large pair of scissors?
A4) Well yes, but if some of the stems have gotten too thick this may prove difficult. And as others have said it will be a very long job. The good news is you may get away with one cut this year as we are almost into August, depending on the type of hedge. It sounds like you need a friend or gardener to help you.
Good pair of gloves, Secateurs with good blade cost around 20 to 30 quid, and depending on thickness of upright bits get a Brashing saw, at a decent gardening shop and go for it, I have a thorn hedge and I use secateurs and extending H.D. loppers, If you got the time it’s a good way to switch off for a day or three!
Q5) What is the best way to trim a garden hedge?
A5) Hedge Trimmers every time(petrol). Cut it back quite hard.For the side start at the bottom of the hedge and using an upward motion cut into the hedge, then bring the trimmers back down cutting the bits the first cut missed. As for the top use a good set of garden ladders with an adjustable tripod garden ladder. Use a smooth cutting action going from right to left then clear off the top. As for the health and safety aspects use gloves/ ear defenders and safety glasses.
Electric trimmers work great. Used them for many years. Do a very nice and balanced job.
Q6) I read somewhere that it is against the law to trim hedges on agricultural land between the end of February and the 1st August? Is that true?
A6) No it’s not. It’s strongly recommended that the bird breeding season – 1 March to 31 July – should always be avoided. There are exceptions to that, particularly if the hedge overhangs a public footpath or road or obscures drivers’ vision.
It’s not “against the law” but it is advisable because it would be in the nesting times and would disturb wild life-like birds and hedgehogs.
Q7) Am i responsible for trimming back hedges, bushes etc that grow over next doors garden?
A7) You are responsible for not causing a nuisance to your neighbours with whatsoever, which you are doing at the moment. It would be polite to ask if they would like you to trim them back, or you could tell them if they are unhappy they can trim them themselves. You would be amazed how many arguments are caused by neighbour’s hedges/bushes growing over other people’s land. You could be served with an ASBO so why not just do them, they’re yours after all.
Not sure what you are trying to ask. If you are asking if you are allowed to prune your neighbours bushes etc if they are hanging over your property then it all depends. Most places it is yes but you can only trim them back to your property line. The best way to be sure and to avoid any civil lawsuits is to contact your city. They can give you the ordinances. Some areas actually have laws stating that you can’t touch them and other have laws saying that they are REQUIRED to keep them off of your property. I would check with your local councils laws.
Q8) What can I grow that is large enough to make into a hedge and delicate enough to be really easy to trim back?
A8) Escallonia will cope with most soil types and will do well in sun or shade. It is a quick grower, easily controlled, is evergreen and it flowers. What more could anyone ask for?
Pampas Grass: I have this in the corner of my garden as a privacy thing, my neighbours use their back door rather than front door and had a direct view into my back garden, I put 3 pampas grass in the corner nearest their back door and it totally blocks their view, It is also quite sharp when grown so if anybody wanted to try to climb over my (small) fence they would be cut to ribbons in the pampas, it grows up to 6 ft tall and has long flowers in the summer, you can then cut it all back to virtually nothing and let it start all over again, they even come in different colours.
Q9) Would it ever be possible to build a real light sabre so I can use it to trim up hedge back in seconds?
A9) Maybe one day yes. But for now it is just the stuff of nerds dreams. (including most of us at ladders online!)
Q10) What hedge grows really fast that can be used for screening/privacy (maybe Jasmine)?
A10) don’t use jasmine unless you are in a hot country…. it is not hardy in the UK… mile a minute does what it says in its name but will drop its leaves and be a bit tatty twiggy birds nest of a thing over the winter / spring – as will honeysuckle. You could use a fast growing ivy but would need to educate your child not to touch it as it is poisonous.
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