Hedge: Required Care and How to Prune it

Learn about the required care for your hedge, as well as how and when to prune it. We'll also discuss the different types of gardening tools that you can use to help you accomplish this task.
Hedge: Required Care and How to Prune it

Last update: 06 December, 2021

If you’re planning to have a hedge in your garden, you should know about the care it requires and how and when to prune it. The first thing you should know before reading this article is that having an impressive hedge takes time and requires constant work.

But don’t panic! After reading the following article, you’ll have a clearer idea about everything to do with hedges. You’ll also have the facts and the for and against arguments to decide if you want to have one in your garden.

What does the hedge do for gardens?

Types of hedges

A hedge is used to delimit a garden or terrace and it can include a mixture of different shrubs. Distinguishable as a green fence, it’s used to form a barrier to divide different zones. They’re often used for large plots and have the advantage of providing privacy. Hedges can be thick which makes them difficult to see through and their height can provide extra security and privacy for your garden.

Additionally, they prevent breaches of security and intrusions. In fact, there are some types of shrubs that have large thorns like the swinglea. These can even be complemented with wire fences for added security, giving a touch of elegance and naturalness to these enclosures.

Types of hedges

As we mentioned, a hedge can be made from different types of bushes and shrubs. In turn, there are two types of hedges: informal hedges that are allowed to grow freely and are pruned from time to time, and formal ones, which are pruned regularly to maintain a specific shape.

Some formal hedges are shaped into figures according to the tastes and needs of each person. However, these require constant and professional maintenance.

When should you prune your hedge?

If your hedge is formal, pruning should be continuous in order to maintain your chosen shape. Keep in mind that the least successful time for pruning is between November and January.

However, the ideal pruning time is in October. This is the month in which dead branches should be removed, and the substrate should be cleared of debris to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms, pests, and diseases. Depending on the climate of the area where you live, your hedge may need pruning up to four times each year.

Types of pruning

Next, we’re going to tell you about the types of pruning for your hedge:

  • Maintenance pruning: this will maintain the shape of your hedge, as well as its leafiness. This pruning is done when new shoots have matured and it should be trimmed in a straight line, between ten and fifteen centimeters.
  • Renovation: when your hedge is old or somewhat neglected, it requires renewal pruning to revitalize it. In this case, a more intense pruning is required that includes cutting about three-quarters of the ends of the shoots. This pruning is performed once a year and only if necessary.
  • Radical pruning: consists of cutting from the level of the thickest trunk and must be done in the winter. Later, new branches will grow stronger and thicker. This pruning should only be performed when necessary.

How to prune your hedge?

Learn how to prune your hedge

Pruning a hedge requires the basic skills and knowledge to handle garden equipment. If you’ve never done this before, it’s better to hire a professional until you’ve learned how to do it on your own.

With shears

One of the easiest ways to prune your hedge is with gardening or pruning shears. Make sure your shears are sharp and that they fit the size of the branches of your bushes.

Use a hedge trimmer

The hedge trimmer is a tool specifically developed for pruning hedges. However, it’s a large appliance and has several sharp blades that vary in length, depending on the model you purchase.

These blades work thanks to an electric motor. It has enormous power and once you’ve learned how to use it safely, it’s easy to use and ideal for maintaining leafy hedges.

Make sure your end result is level

Regardless of the type of tool you use to prune your hedge, it may be difficult for you to level the bushes, particularly if your hedge is high. To do this, use a piece of string that runs from each end of the hedge and cut across it. Over time you’ll soon learn how to do this without extra help.

Do you want to have your own hedge?

As you can see, a hedge requires care and dedication. However, it’s worth it because your hedge will delimit your garden and create a private area, as well as give it more shape.

Why not practice pruning to create your own shapes in your hedge? There are people who have turned their pruning skills into true works of art.

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