How To Shape Hedges?

Last Updated on May 9, 2024 by Sharaj

Hedge management is easy if you are aware of the two processes; pruning and shearing. When you remove particular parts or branches of a plant, it’s called pruning.

When you are removing an entire growth to maintain a straight or any other shape, then it’s shearing. Let’s understand some of the hedge trimming basics.

Know The Pruning Months

The maintenance time depends upon the types of bushes or plants. Bamboo, Arborvitae, and Yew seek pruning before new growth, which is in the late winters.

Firethorn, Privet, and Japanese laurel need some cutting right after spring flowering. Cut Prune Leyland cypress and Boxwood once they gain new leaf growths. Similarly, you can prune Cotoneaster and Holly after they produce fruits.

How To Shape Hedges

Look For The Right Equipment

If you have the right tool, then the whole process will be easier. Your tool selection should depend upon the type of trimming and diameter of the cutting materials.

Hand pruners or a pruning saw is great for pruning. For shearing, you should prefer using an hedge trimmer.

Create A Guideline According To The Required Width And Height

Decide the height that you need and purchase stakes with the same length. Also, purchase a string roll that can cover the hedges on both sides.

Measure the required height and width using a measurement tape. Place the stakes in a combination of two on each side of the hedge at an interval of one yard. Tie the string on the top of these stakes and secure it with duct tape.

You can trim the garden hedges short or thin according to the preferences. However, if you need a privacy hedge or a boundary that can keep your property secure, then allow them to grow tall as well as thick and then maintain them using a extendable hedge trimmer.

Shear The Hedge Horizontally

Use an electric or battery powered hedge trimmer to cut the greens along the string. Move slowly and follow the same process on both sides.

Trim The Thickness

Remove the guiding stakes as well as string. Lift the string on top of the hedge. Cut the greens from top to bottom like an inverted wedge.

Make sure you cut towards the string to make a little slope or angle. Trim in narrow parts for uniform and accurate results.

Hedge Trim The Thickness

Clean The Area

Use a rack or blower to bring all the debris and clippings together. You can also use tarpaulin to collect all the greens and dispose of later.

You can use the clippings for compost that can be very helpful for your lawn or garden. Check for any signs of pests or diseases as well.


You can use the above-mentioned tips and instructions to create a hedge with any width or height. Pruning might take some time, but it rewards you with an attractive boundary. Shearing also takes some patience.

However, you should not overdo the trimming process otherwise the hedges will not be able to provide privacy or security to your property.

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