If you are wondering how on earth to trim your hedges then read on to discover some very useful tips:
- When cutting your hedge, always cut the vertical faces first before cutting the top. Tall hedges should always be left slightly wider at the bottom than the top. This process is called cutting to a batter and is usually seen in formal gardens.
- Cutting a tall hedge can be achieved by two methods. Either you need to climb a ladder or cutting platform and cut the top of your hedge with your normal hedge trimmer. Or, you can purchase a pole hedge trimmer (sometimes called a telescopic hedge trimmer) and cut the higher parts from the ground. By choosing a pole hedge trimmer with an adjustable cutter bar, you will also be able to cut the top of the hedge using this method. Pole hedge trimmers are available both as an electric (cordless) and as a petrol hedge trimmer.
- If you choose to use a ladder, it is unwise to lean the ladder against a hedge as it could fall through the branches, with disastrous consequences if you are up there with a powerful hedge trimmer at the time. It is very simple to prevent this, simply lash a plank of wood at right angles to your ladder right at the top, forming a T shape and this will enable the ladder to be safely leaned, without it falling through.
- Make sure you always have a set of lopping shears or secateurs with you when you cut your hedge. Even the most powerful petrol hedge trimmers are not meant to be used as chainsaws and you could seriously damage the blades, or yourself if you try to cut through material that is too thick. Having your secateurs or lopping shears to hand will avoid any temptation to try to cut material that you should not try to cut with your hedge trimmers.
- If you have ever stood back and admired your cut hedge and then gone to the same hedge a couple of days later and found all sorts of little straggly bits sticking out that you are sure you did not miss the first time, here is a neat trick to prevent that. When you cut your hedge, give it several gentle taps with the back of a sprung rake. This will cause any doubled-over or caught-under, little twigs to spring out and you can quickly trim them off and avoid the annoyance of them springing out later.