How to Trim Hedges for Optimum Health
Hedge maintenance is a simple process that can be easily integrated into a landscape routine. We receive a lot of questions about how to trim hedges. Pruning hedges contributes to its overall health and quality and keeps it at the desired size.
InstantHedge delivers uniformly pruned, finished hedges, so a simple annual maintenance trim is all that is required. In the first year of installation, pruning should be kept to a minimum to allow the hedge to acclimate to space. Vigorous shoots that outgrow their companions can be clipped, but that is it.
In the second year of growth and beyond, annual hedge trimming should begin. Frequency and intensity will depend on the hedge type. Slow-growing hedges (like Emerald Green Arborvitae) may only need a trim once every 2-3 years, while fast-growing hedges (like Green Giant Arborvitae or laurels) may need 2 trims per year, especially if they are intended to be a compact, formal hedge. Pruning requirements for some of our most popular hedges can be found in the following tables:
LIGHT PRUNING ‘<1X’ PER YEAR
Emerald Green Arborvitae, Yew Hedge, Holly, Arrowwood Viburnum, Fagus Sylvatica Atropurpurea.
MODERATE PRUNING 1-2X PER YEAR
Virescens Western Red Cedar, American Arborvitae, Portuguese Laurel, Schip Laurel, Fagus Sylvatica, Green Mountain Boxwood, Royal Star Magnolia, Bald Cypress, Teton Firethorn, Carpinus Betulus.
REGULAR PRUNING 2X PER YEAR
Green Giant Arborvitae, Prunus Laurocerasus, Flame Amur Maple
Pro Tip: How to Trim Hedges
It may seem strange, but to keep your hedge healthy, you will want to prune it slightly smaller at the top. This will help allow more sunlight to the bottom of your hedge, keeping it healthy and vigorous.
Hand-held hedge pruners are the best way to trim hedges for control, and an electric hedge trimmer also works well. Make sure whichever tool you use is as sharp as possible to avoid unnecessary damage and stress to the hedge.
Now you know everything there is to know about trimming hedges – have fun! Your hedging plants can be pruned into arches, doorways, windows, and other unique shapes. You’ll want to refer to our other care guides to learn the best way to water hedges and how to fertilize hedges to keep your hedge in great shape for years to come. Although different types of hedges have different specific needs, follow these principles of hedge care for best results.
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