When and How to Trim Your Hedges

Hedge trimming might seem to be one of those mystical arts primarily practiced by suburban dads in sitcoms. In the real world, it’s a crucial part of maintaining the health and thickness of your hedge. Trimming away dead and unnecessary sprouts allows your hedges to best utilize nutrients and water, growing vibrant and even.

 

If you’re not sure how to apply this crucial maintenance method to your own greenery, we’re here to demystify the process!

 

When to Trim

The best time to trim your hedges will vary a little based on what kind of hedge you have planted, but most hedge types do well being pruned in late winter or early spring while still in a state of semi-dormancy. Evergreen hedges or other shrubs grown mostly for their leaves are likely to do best pruned in late winter, since this allows new growth to fill back in evenly. Deciduous hedges tend to be less formal, with one prune per year in early spring usually serving as enough maintenance.

 

The primary exception to this rule is summer and spring flowering shrubs. If you have bushes that bloom during the spring season, you’ll want to trim off all the dead blooms immediately following its flowering.

 

Another exception is any hedge that is newly planted. Most hedges require trimming immediately after planting, whatever season you do it in, in order to foster growth.

 

How to Trim

Once you’ve established when the right time to trim is based on the type of plants that hedge in your yard, the next step is to make sure the trimming is done right.

 

For some simple maintenance, handheld pruning shears will work. If you’re trimming back anything larger, however, you’ll probably want to opt for electric hedge trimmers. Make sure that your trimmers stay well lubricated with something like WD-40.

 

One of the things that you want to focus on is making sure that sunlight can reach the full plant. This means trimming out dead branches from the hedges’ base, and also removing water-sprouts (vertical growths that appear on larger branches and leech nutrients and water). When shaping the hedge, plan to keep the base wider than the top.

 

Especially if you have a particularly long set of hedges that needs to be uniform, you might want to consider setting up guides. This is usually done using stakes and strings to help set a level height and guides for the sides.


If you’ve never maintained a hedge before, the task can be daunting, especially if you have particularly large and bulky bushes. Fortunately, professional help is available! We’re here to help with all your lawn care needs in North Texas.

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