How and when to cut your hedge

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Hedges are an essential part of the British landscape, providing privacy, security, and beauty to our outdoor spaces.

However, without proper maintenance, hedges can become overgrown, unsightly, and potentially hazardous. Hedge cutting is therefore an essential task for any homeowner or landscaper who wishes to keep their hedges healthy, attractive, and safe.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to hedge cutting, including the best time of year to cut hedges, how to cut hedges properly, and tips for maintaining hedges between cuts. So lets get started!

What should I check for before cutting or removing my hedge?

Hedges are important habitats for a variety of wildlife, such as birds, insects, and small mammals. Before cutting or removing a hedge, it is important to check if there are any protected species living in the hedge, such as nesting birds or bats.

Between March and the end of August is considered breeding season for birds, and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to damage a bird’s nest while it is in use.

If protected species are found, it may be necessary to delay or adjust the hedge cut or removal to avoid harming them.

birds nest in hedge

In addition to nesting birds, cutting or removing a hedge can be a hazardous task, especially if the hedge is large or located near power lines or other hazards. It is important to assess the risks involved and take appropriate safety measures, such as using protective gear and tools, working with a partner, and avoiding cutting or removing the hedge during adverse weather conditions.

When is the best time to cut my hedge?

Proper timing is key when it comes to hedge cutting. Cutting your hedges at the right time will help promote healthy growth, prevent damage, and ensure that they look their best!

Generally, we recommend trimming or cutting your hedge at least once per year, typically during late winter or early spring.

However, this will ultimately depend on the type of hedge you have, as evergreen hedges for example may require more frequent trimming to maintain their shape and prevent overgrowth.

Commercial hedge cutting services

Useful techniques for cutting your hedge

  • Cut at the right angle: When trimming the sides of the hedge, angle the shears slightly downward to create a slightly tapered shape. This will help prevent the top of the hedge from shading the bottom and promote even growth.
  • Start at the bottom: When trimming a tall hedge, it’s best to start at the bottom and work your way up. This will help prevent debris from falling onto the untrimmed part of the hedge.
  • Avoid trimming too much at once: To prevent shock and damage to the hedge, avoid cutting off more than one-third of the growth in a single trimming session. This will allow the hedge to recover and promote healthy growth.
  • Trim evenly: Try to trim the hedge to a consistent height and shape to maintain its overall appearance. Use string or a guide to help keep your lines straight and even.

Useful techniques for removing your hedge

  • Clear the area: Before you start removing your hedge, clear the area of any obstacles such as rocks, garden furniture, or other plants. This will give you more space to work and prevent damage to other objects.
  • Use the right tools: Use a chainsaw or pruning saw to cut the hedge into manageable sections. Start at the top of the hedge and work your way down, cutting each section into smaller pieces that can be easily removed.
  • Remove the roots: Once the hedge has been cut into sections, use a digging spade to dig around the roots and loosen them from the soil. Pull the roots out of the ground ensuring to remove the whole root.
  • Prepare the soil: After the hedge has been removed, prepare the soil for new planting. Remove any remaining roots and weeds, and add compost or soil amendments to improve the soil quality.
Hedge removal services

Need a professional gardener to cut or remove your hedge?

While cutting or removing a hedge may seem like a simple task, it can be challenging and time-consuming, especially if you have a large or complex hedge.

Top Garden Services have been cutting, trimming and removing hedges for over 15 years, so we’re well equipped to tackle your hedge using the best specialised tools available!

For commercial gardening jobs, we use machinery like a compact loader which is ideal for hedge cutting large areas quickly and efficiently which would otherwise take hours or even days to do.

To top it off we also ensure to leave your garden or commercial grounds looking pristine with the clean-up and removal of hedge debris.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us now for a free quote! Covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

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