Shrubs, bushes and hedges are an important part of the modern landscape aesthetic. They have a natural beauty that can enhance the physical appeal of your home, while providing a focal complement to lawns, trees, gardens and hardscapes on the landscape.
Many types of shrubs and bushes can be grown into a privacy screen, windbreak or living fence along a boundary line thus forming a hedge. Badly overgrown, misshapen and unkempt hedges will have a negative impact on the appearance and value of a landscape.
There are many types of landscape hedges not limited to border hedges. Maintenance practices are however similar for each type of hedge.
Hedge trimming is a traditional maintenance practice for ornamental hedges. Established hedges require trimming to keep them dense and compact and also functional aesthetically.
Formative trimming is the process of shaping a tree when it is young. This is achieved by creating a good height trunk and pruning young growth back to encourage the tree to grow in the right direction and develop thick branches.
It is mostly done on young hedges.
Maintenance trimming is done on established hedges to maintain a good surface and the formation set during formative pruning.
When to trim hedges
New hedges require formative pruning and the age is determined by the type of plant which is directly proportional to its growth rate. The higher the growth rate the higher the frequency of trimming. Afterward maintenance trimming is advised.
Hand-held hedge shears are the most common garden tool used for hedge trimming. For larger hedges it is advisable to use a hedge trimmer so as to achieve a uniform trim and avoid unsightly leaf damage.
It is advisable to take precaution and use safety gear when trimming hedges to avoid injuries.
In general; trimming is done by removing misplaced shoots and cutting back the hedge to its required size.
Pruning of hedge plants sparks new growth thus your hedge will always look evergreen with nice young foliage.
It’s important to trim the sides of the hedge at an angle, so that it’s wider at the bottom and slightly narrower at the top. That way, sunlight can reach the lower branches and root system, which helps the entire hedge grow green and lush.
In conclusion, hedge trimming is a necessary science to maintain the look and feel of your landscape. It is always advisable to seek professional help in this exercise so as not to gamble with the physiology of the parent plant forming the hedge.