In our previous post we discussed hedge trimming and how it can benefit your garden and allow more light to enter. To follow on, we are going to examine hedge reductions and how they too can be beneficial to your outside space.
What is a hedge reduction?
A hedge reduction is a renovation of a hedge which can transform the outside space from being overgrown and taking over the garden. The hedge can be reduced in two ways; in height and in width.
Reasons to reduce a hedge
Firstly, reducing a hedge whether in height or width can aid light to enter your garden. Increased light in your outside space can improve your well-being in many ways whilst at the same time benefit other parts of your garden. A large, overgrown hedge can shade other plants which can limit their growth and productivity when it comes to flowering with certain plants.
A further reason to reduce a hedge is for the health of the plant. When a hedge appears sparse and is struggling, reducing it can help massively. When the hedge is reduced it encourages fresh growth which will rejuvenate the hedge.
Hedges can also sometimes be left to grow for a number of years to accommodate wildlife. Eventually these hedges become unruly and require taming. This is where a hedge reduction by local tree surgeons can be beneficial.
When should a hedge be reduced?
The time that hedges should be reduced depends on their variety:
- Deciduous hedges ideally should be cut back in mid-winter when they are leafless, however if required it can be carried out during spring and summer.
- Evergreen hedges are best reduced from mid-spring onwards and over the summer months. This is due to them responding better when the risk of frost has gone and there is active growth.
How should a hedge be reduced?
It is worth noting that if the reduction of the hedge required is drastic (more than 50% of the height or width) it is better to stagger this over two or three years.
For example; On the first year reduce back one side of the hedge and trim the top and opposite side as normal.
During the second year’s reduction reduce the opposite side to the former year, trimming the top and other side as normal.
On the third year reduce the top of the hedge and trim the sides to a normal standard.
It is important to leave a full year’s growth for recovery and to water well during the growing season after reduction.
Reasons to seek help from a professional
Hedge reductions are a large task. They often involve working at great height and require specialist equipment i.e. large ladders, extension hedge trimmers and often chainsaws. Qualified tree surgeons will be competent and qualified to use a chainsaw safely and proficiently.To avoid injury and accidents it is important to have hedge reductions carried out by professional arborists who offer hedge cutting services where possible, to ensure the hedge is reduced appropriately in the safest way possible.