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How to trim your hedge?

Guide written by:
Albert, Responsable de service jardinage, Isère

Albert, Responsable de service jardinage, Isère

90 guides

A linear and rectangular trim for a classic hedge, an aesthetic and stylish cut for a landscape hedge, the type of trim ultimately depends on the type of hedge - classic, view-breaker, wind-breaker, landscape or interior - but also on the plant's species and the expected result - rounded edges, chamfer etc.

Important features

  • Type of trim
  • Type of tool
  • Type of hedge

A specific trim for different types of hedges

Whether it be a classic, viewbreaker, landscape, or interior hedge, each variety has particular characteristics. The trimming method must therefore be adapted. But not to worry, it's not rocket science! It's just a matter of taking these important characteristics into consideration.

All hedges, no matter what the type, need to be regularly trimmed to promote good plant health and a harmonious aesthetic aspect. The harmonious bit will be based solely on the form that you choose to give your hedge. The hedge's form is also very relevant to the shape trimming, an action which determines it's future shape out of a fledging plant

Trimming a classic of view-breaker hedge

A classic or view-breaker hedge's role is to conceal the inside of a garden and deliminate a property's limits. It has the same responsibilities as a fence or a plant wall. They are generally composed of evergreen plants, or plants that do not shed their leaves in the winter.

Trimming a classic or view-break hedge is normally done in a linear and rectangular fashion. For certain species however, conifers for example, a rounded cut, where the angles are rounded out, is a valid possibility. For the top of the hedge, you can either have a slight slope or on the contrary, stay perfectly horizontal, which results in a neater, more uniform visual, but will also have an undetermined height from the ground.

Trimming a wind-breaker hedge

Windbreaker hedges are designed to form a plant barrier againt climatic elements, generally in less populated regions or the countryside. They are composed of evergreen and deciduous plants that are not too compact as to allow a minimum of wind to get through. 

The trimming, or pruning in this case, should be done in an effort to respect each tree's vegetative balance. This refers to keeping the same proportion of branches for each tree, compared to its axis. This is ultimately healthy for the trees' development, and will avoid the different trees getting tangled up in one another. It's best to try and retain the trees' natural form, all the while retaining a consistent shape.

Trimming a landscape hedge

Landscape hedges are composed of different species of trees. They often also serve the role of view-breaker, but first and foremost, their role is to be aestethically pleasing. The variation of colors, shapes, vegetation, bark type, fruits and even smells render this variety of hedges indispensable to increase a garden's value and quality.

Keeping all this in mind, trimming this variety of hedge is all about the aesthetic result. It's best to attempt to maintain the shrub's natural form and trim them accordingly.

Trimming an interior hedge

Interior hedges have a variety of uses: for a vegetable plot or flower bed boundary, for increasing your garden's quality or concealing a wall, amongst many others. There are however two distinct basic categories of interior hedges: low hedges and natural mix hedges. Low hedges are composed of the same type of shrubs, matching in both species and variety. The native mix hedges on the other hand, are all different, composed of a variety of plant species with a medium height, ranging between 1 and 2 meters.

Once inside your own yard, the only limit is your imagination! When it comes to selecting the right plants for your flower bed, organizing the vegetable plot or tidying up a back alley, trimming an interior hedge is a creative art form. The low hedges are especially concerned, as their form can vary and be rectangular, round, trapezoid shaped or atypical. This depends solely on your creativity, as the trimming tools can be adapated to suit your expected result. On ther other hand for the natural mix hedges, the trim must be adapted to maintain each tree's native shape.

Shape trimming

Shape trimming should be exercised on hedges until they reach the desired height and width. It's best not to let the hedge get too tall or large however, for two reasons. The first, it limits the branchs' proliferation inside the hedge. The second, and quite obvious, is to avoid the laborious chore of trimming an overgrown hedge. 

Before a hedge reaches its ideal height and width, pruning should simply consists of lightly shaping the sides, and not the height. With conifers especially, cutting the main branch will result in significant delays in the plant's growing process.
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Guide written by:

Albert, Responsable de service jardinage, Isère 90 guides écrits

Albert, Responsable de service jardinage, Isère
Depuis plusieurs années, je dirige un service de jardinage  auprès  d’une clientèle de particuliers et d’entreprises. J’encadre une équipe de jardiniers et assure  la création et l’entretien des espaces verts. D’autre part, j’apporte mon expertise à mes clients en termes  d’entretien et d’amélioration de leurs jardins.

En effet, de formation commerciale et ayant exercé des fonctions dans l’hôtellerie en début de carrière, je me suis orienté vers l’aménagement paysager au sein d’une collectivité territoriale où j’ai acquis de solides compétences techniques par des formations en interne et par le suivi d’importants chantiers dans une commune en pleine mutation.

Sur le plan personnel, je suis tout aussi tournée vers l’art du jardinage. Avec mon épouse, j’ai créé notre jardin de A à Z et je l’entretiens avec soin, tout comme le potager !  Et pour ce qui est du bricolage ; il n’est pas en reste ! Eh oui, jardiner,  c’est aussi bricoler : pergola, cabane, dallage, clôture, et j’en passe... Il y a toujours à faire dans un jardin !  

Après avoir bien travaillé, mon épouse et moi sommes fiers du résultat obtenu et ravis de pouvoir profiter pleinement d’un environnement convivial et chaleureux!  Alors, vous donner des conseils et vous aider dans vos choix pour l’outillage, l’entretien  ou l’amélioration de votre jardin, rien de plus simple !

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