Hedges are a great asset to any garden or commercial ground. They provide privacy, reduce noise and can protect gardens from wind, whilst at the same time can act as wildlife habitat and add beauty and structure to the area. With all of these benefits in mind, hedges are a great choice for your garden as an alternative to fences and walls, however keeping them well kept is vital in order to keep the sun shining into your garden.
Why should I keep my hedge trimmed regularly?
Frequently trimming your hedging has many benefits. Firstly, it keeps the plant looking aesthetically pleasing, an asset to any garden. By trimming the hedge correctly and at the correct times, it will keep it looking tidy and maintain the desired shape.
Pruning your hedging regularly is also imperative to the health and well-being of the plant. Removing unhealthy and dead parts of the hedge on a frequent basis keeps the plant in the best condition possible. This lowers the risk of any long-term damage, as removing diseased parts prevents the disease from spreading, therefore allowing the hedge to grow healthily.
It is also important to prune any over-hanging branches for hedges that are infringing on walk ways or seating areas, in order for ease of use.
When should I trim my hedges and how often?
It is wise to carry out formative pruning once a year for newly planted hedges. This should be done for the first 2-3 years. For deciduous hedges, this should be carried out in the winter, just after planting. Formative pruning for evergreen hedges should be done in the spring.
For older, more established hedges maintenance trimming can be done. This is usually once a year for informal and twice a year for formal hedging. This is normally completed in spring/ summer for both deciduous and evergreen hedges.
How should my hedges be cut?
It is helpful to have a range of different sized hedge trimmers in order to be able to select the one best suited to the size of the hedge. It is important to make sure any equipment being used is in good condition to ensure the best cut possible for your hedge.
For all hedges, especially large ones that are infringing on light or space it may be helpful to enlist the help of a professional arborist to undertake the work. Professionals in the industry will have specialist equipment including ladders and personal protective equipment (PPE). This will ensure not only that the job is done correctly, but also as safely as possible.
Another benefit of having a professional to carry out the work is if the hedges are to be trimmed into a certain shape or style. Experienced professionals will have specialist skills to execute the job properly, ensuring the hedge is to your liking.
Issues to consider
Nesting birds are one of the main problems that can occur when you are planning to spruce up your hedges. It is vital to check the entire area for wildlife before carrying out any work on the hedging. The Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) states that it is an offence to destroy or damage a bird’s nest whilst it is being used or being built. However, it is unlikely to be an issue if it is hedge trimming only being carried out. This is due to the bird’s nests usually being well within the hedge. It is therefore imperative to seek the advice from a professional to ensure that any nests will not be damaged during the works.