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Hedge Pruning Guide

Hedge Pruning Guide Featured

Want some tips on pruning your hedge?

This article brings you some tips for pruning hedges.

Having a nicely looked after hedge, provides you with a good looking barrier around your gardens perimeter. However, if you neglect your bushes and hedges it’s an immediate eye sore for passers by and visitors. If you decide you want to keep on top of your bushes or hedges, good on you.

The best way to achieve this is to think up some sort of hedge pruning routine for this. This doesn’t take a huge amount of your time, but will make a world of difference when it comes to the look of your hedges.

Hedge Pruning Guide

Conifer hedges tend to need regular maintenance through pruning. Due to their fast growing nature, they can easily get out of control if not done regularly. If you’re lucky enough to have evergreen hedges, these only really need to be trimmed a few times a year. There are many factors to consider when making your pruning routine. This depends on when they flower.

  • Flowering on current years wood – Best Pruned During Spring.
  • Flowering on old wood – Best Pruned After Bloom Fades.

Which Tools Should You Use?

If you have a smaller sized hedge, you’re in luck. You won’t require anything too expensive just a good hedge shears. You can get these for a relatively reasonable price and we actually wrote a buyers guide on these for you. Remember the importance of keeping your pruning shears regularly sharpened.

Trying to get the job done with a blunt pair of secateurs is always going to be difficult

If you have a larger sized hedge then it’s probably best you buy an electric hedge trimmer. You can choose a corded or cordless trimmer for this job. Whichever option you choose, trimming a large hedge will be be a lot easier than using a pruning shears. Remember, if you’re using a gas trimmers then you won’t need to worry about the cord. However, if you opt for an electric trimmer then be conscious of the danger of cutting through the electric wire.

Formal Hedge Pruning Technique

The best way to begin Is by levelling the top of the hedge. This gives you an instant idea of how the rest of the hedge should shape out. You should be able to cut the hedge based on your own judgement. Once the top is flat you should have some idea on how much to bring the sides in.

Natural Hedge Pruning Technique

Hedges that have been grown naturally will have developed a very specific shape which you need to make sure you maintain. Rather than cutting the hedge to a squared shape, you need to trim the overgrowth. Do this just enough to ensure you maintain the hedges natural shape.

This is where a secateurs is really useful, as you can go gradually by hand.

If you get carried away with an electric trimmer, you may find that you accidently take a little too much off ruining the hedges natural shape. However, if your hedge is large you might have no choice but to use an electric trimmer. So, do this very gradually and cautiously.


Remember, regardless of which kind of hedge you trim you need to do so safely. This means wearing the appropriate safety equipment to protect yourself from fatigue/injury. As previously mentioned, when using electronic machines be cautious of cables and power points. If you’re using a ladder make sure that it’s secure, the last thing you want is a fall from a height with an electric trimmer coming down with you.

Final Thoughts

Remember, hedges need to be treated differently whether they are formal or their shape is formed naturally. It’s also down to your preference as to what kind of shape you want to get from your hedge. You can use a variety of tools for pruning hedges. However, we recommend a hedge shears or an electric trimmer depending on the size of the hedge.

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