How to Trim a Tall Hedge

How to Trim a Tall Hedge

20th June 2014

The weather here in the UK has been fabulous over the past few weeks and many of us are taking advantage of the sunshine and spending as much time in the garden as possible, barbecuing, playing, sunbathing and relaxing while we can.  All this bright sunshine has plants in the UK growing like mad, especially lawns and hedges, both of which need regular trimming to keep them under control.  While cutting the grass is easy enough, getting the hedges trimmed can be much harder work, especially if the hedges in question are tall.  We’re taking a look at some great hedge trimming tips for taller hedges that will help you get the job done safety with minimum risk, especially if you need to use ladders or other types of access equipment to reach the top.

Some of the largest and quickest growing hedges are comprised of Leylandii, although Yew, Laurel, Box and Privet hedges can sometimes be found that are too tall to trim without ladders.  Sometimes a hedge will need a severe cut back or height reduction, especially one that has been neglected. 

With a Leylandii hedge you’ll need to trim back to the same height and width each year to ensure that it doesn’t grow any taller.  Try to ensure that you leave the hedge wider at the bottom than AT the top as this will prevent snow and wind damage during the winter. 

Trim the hedge during the spring or summer months as the hedge will then have sufficient time to recover and put on some re-growth before the harsh winter.  However, try to avoid trimming if the weather has been very hot or dry.

Trimming in the autumn could leave the hedge susceptible to winter attack from aphids while if you trim during the months of March to July you will have to watch out for nesting birds that should not be disturbed.

Whether you use sharp shears or an electric hedge trimmer will depend on both the size of the hedge and personal preference.  Tall hedges really will need to be done with an electric hedge trimmer.  You’ll need to ensure that the blades are sharp so that it cuts through the branches and twigs, rather than ripping them off.

Lay a tarpaulin on the ground below the section of hedge that you are trimming as this makes gathering up the clippings easier – you could end up spending just as much time raking them up otherwise.  Clear the trimmings off the top of the hedge with a leaf rake – don’t be tempted to leave them there as they could rot and cause disease.  Once you’ve finished the job, it will be far easier to move the clippings and transport them for disposal if you can just pick up the corners of the tarp or groundsheet.

If using a ladder, then check out this previous blog post and make sure you use all the necessary safety precautions to minimize the risk.  Be sure to perform a safety inspection before using the ladder to ensure that it hasn’t become damaged or corroded since the last time it was used.