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Cutting hedges into shape in summer | > – Guide – Garden

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Cutting hedges into shape in summer |  > – Guide – Garden

Status: 06/14/2023 2:38 p.m

Well-kept hedges set accents. In order for them to grow densely, they need regular pruning. A gentle grooming cut is also recommended in summer.

Hedges are a natural privacy screen, serve as a substitute for a fence or set visual highlights in the garden, especially when cut in shape. They should be trimmed regularly to keep them from balding. The main pruning of most plants takes place in winter, it ensures that they sprout vigorously again in spring. According to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, a radical pruning or removal of the hedge is only permitted between October and February, so that birds are not disturbed when breeding.

In the period from March 1st to September 30th, however, a “gentle shape and care cut” is permitted. Nevertheless, before using the hedge trimmers during this time, the wood should be searched carefully for nesting birds and nests.

Shape cut and grooming cut: The best time

From March to September, only a topiary of hedges is permitted by law.

Careful pruning of many hedge plants is recommended in summer around June 24th, St. John’s Day. This is the point at which the second leaf budding begins in some hedge plants such as beech and maple. If the hedge is cut at this point, it will not grow back much and will retain the desired shape. About a third of the new growth should remain. When and how often a hedge should be trimmed depends on the tree in question. Hornbeam hedges, for example, are best trimmed at the end of July/beginning of August.

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Plants that bloom in spring, such as Deutzia, forsythia or garden jasmine, should not be pruned in winter but after flowering. If you cut too late in the summer, the wound healing is usually poor. This is a problem with box trees in particular, they get brown leaf edges. And: Some plants, when pruned late, will sprout again even in August/September, but the young shoots are then at high risk of frost.

Trapezoidal structure of the hedge important

The hedge should get narrower towards the top.

The most important thing when trimming a hedge is the right shape. A hedge should have a trapezoidal structure: it should taper towards the top, i.e. be wider at the base than at the crown. This is also known as a conical or pyramidal cut. In this way, sufficient light reaches the lower parts of the plant and the wood does not bare from below.

This is particularly important for hedges made of coniferous trees (conifers), thuja and cypress, for example, do not sprout at all or only after years. For this reason, they must not be cut back into the old wood. Evergreen hedge plants in particular should not be cut on hot, sunny days.

To ensure that the cut is as straight as possible, a cord can be stretched between two posts for orientation. First the side faces are cut (for example with a longer scissor blade) from bottom to top, only then does the cut follow the crown. In between, check the overall impression again and again and compensate for small mistakes. The hedge clippings can, for example, be disposed of in the composter or used for mulching.

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Sharp hedge trimmers are sufficient for many hedges

Safety is paramount when gardening. Gloves are definitely recommended, and safety goggles for electric hedge trimmers. Above all, the tool itself should be sharp. For a particularly clean, gentle cut, a classic hedge trimmer is usually sufficient, especially for evergreen deciduous hedges made of cherry laurel. With a pair of sharp pruning shears you can also neatly cut away one or the other thick or frayed branch.

Motor and cordless shears: what is important?

Motor hedge trimmers are more for professionals and often weigh more than five kilos and are therefore not very handy. Cordless hedge trimmers weigh around three kilograms, but some batteries have runtimes of just 50 minutes. You should therefore estimate the time required for cutting before buying such a device.

The type of hedge also determines the quality of the tool: basic grades may be sufficient for hedges that are easy to trim. With thicker wood, cheap devices often fail quickly, for example if the blades are of poor quality and are not well processed, the engine output is often low or material fatigue occurs quickly. In many tests, “cheap” devices performed correspondingly poorly.

Further information

Whether as a privacy screen or as a boundary to the neighbors: hedges are ideal as garden dividers. This is how they are planted. more

Bamboo is an ideal privacy screen and is also suitable as a hedge. Flat tube bamboo absolutely needs a root barrier. more

Anyone who plants a hedge of native shrubs has a decorative privacy screen and also protects nature. more

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Dead and faded plant parts hinder growth and a second flowering. Which plants should be cut? more

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