How to trim a hedge
There’s something oddly satisfying about seeing hedges that are even and perfectly sculpted. Whether you’re dealing with an old, overgrown hedge or a brand new one, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide to help you make your hedge dreams blossom into life.
Tips for trimming a hedge
Be mindful of when birds are nesting. Late winter and late summer are generally good options. Even if your hedge is still young, you should give it a trim off the top to encourage greater density.
New growth is much easier to cut through than established growth, so it’s best to trim twice a year.
Generally, you’ll want to sweep a hedge trimmer in a motion going upwards. This is primarily for safety – if you hit a snag, it’s safer to pull the tool towards you than it is to push it down in the direction of your leg. If you do sweep in both directions, just be especially careful when sweeping downwards.
For chest-high hedges, start with the sides then do the top. For taller hedges, start with the top – you may need a chainsaw or pole saw when hedge cutting.
Take off a small amount with each pass for the best results. A rule of thumb, cut a maximum of 20% of the hedge in one session and 30% in total per season.
Once you’ve cut it into a square, take off a small corner along each edge. This will help it grow into a more square shape.
Only if the branches you’re cutting are too big for the specifications of the hedge trimmer you’re using. If so, use a chainsaw to bring the hedge down to the right height, and use a hedge trimmer to tidy it up.
If you’re dealing with an overgrown hedge – perhaps once you’ve inherited upon moving homes – you can most likely restore it to health, but it will take some time and patience.
You’ll want to trim the hedge right back and cut down a significant portion of its height using a chainsaw. You may even wish to cut it down to a height of just 1–1.2 metres. This will encourage rapid new growth through the stems, which you can then trim back and shape as it grows.
Some may be tempted to think that when planting a new hedge, you shouldn’t cut it until it reaches its desired size.
The truth is, in order to get a new hedge to size healthily, you’ll want to do some formative pruning for the first few years after planting. This involves pruning young growth back to encourage the trunk to grow solidly and develop thick branches.
Once the hedge has reached the desired height, you can begin carrying out maintenance pruning, as per the steps we’ve detailed above.
Never use the hedge trimmer with one hand. Don’t force the tool when it encounters thick twigs or branches, and be careful when sweeping the trimmer downwards to avoid injuries. Wear protective glasses, earplugs and gloves when working.
For the best results, it’s important to keep your hedge trimmer blades sharp. You can do this using a flat file, or you can use a handheld drill and attach a cone-shaped filing stone on the tip.
Limit your blade sharpening to once per every 50-hours of use – and be sure to go gently to avoid wearing away too much metal. You can also take your Husqvarna hedge trimmer to your local service centre to have the blades sharpened.
Not only are Husqvarna’s battery-powered hedge trimmers effective, lightweight, quiet and ergonomic, they also perform with the same power you would expect from their petrol-driven counterparts.
Then there’s the flexibility of our high performing 36V battery system that is not only extremely durable, but its batteries are also interchangeable between a wide range of professional and residential power tools giving users great flexibility. So whether you trim, cut or prune, you’ll always have the power you need to get the job done.