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When to Trim Cedar Hedges and Other Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re having a hard time figuring out exactly what to do with your hedges, you are not alone! With the endless questions about your living wall, no need to fear, we will answer all the questions you might have right here in this blog.

Why Should I Trim My Hedges?

If you have decided that hedges are the most suitable option for your outdoor space, it is important to maintain them regularly. Proper maintenance allows for hedges to absorb enough sunlight and air to grow.

What Is The Proper Technique to Prune, Trim, and Shape my Shrubs?

Cleaning can always be a tedious process, but laying down a large tarp will make the process go a lot faster. Map out exactly where you are planning on trimming your hedges and look inside your living wall as some wildlife might have made themselves a home. The Canada Wildlife Act strives to preserve habitats and prohibits all activities that could endanger species.

Thin out thick areas and remove any dead limbs to encourage growth. Do not cut more than 1/3 of the shrub yearly. Removing small branches that grow at the base of the tree (suckers) and limbs that grow vertically on dominant branches (waterspouts) is important as they take essential nutrients from the plant. Precision is key especially for formal shrubs, trimming the tops and keeping a wide base is advisable.

What Tools Are Ideal When Treating My Hedges?

The type and size of your hedge will largely have an impact on which tool will be used. Electric gas-powered tools are tricky as it is hard to safely maneuver, it can destroy leaves and cause browned tips. For large jobs, electric-powered tools are the most reliable to obtain the best results. Hand-cutting tools are used for smaller jobs that need more precision. All tools that are used need to be clean and in good shape for long-term usage.

What Are Common Mistakes I Should Avoid?

Watering and placing your hedges in sunlight are great first steps to take but knowing what to avoid will change your sad-looking shrubs to the healthiest living wall there ever was.

Here are five basic tips to incorporate in your hedge maintenance. Hand-pruning hedges regularly allow penetration of sunlight which stimulates growth. Pruning the hedge at the right time; when shrubs have not budded yet and are dormant (usually in late winter depending on your plant- Evergreens require pruning early in the season as they are slower growing shrubs). Allow the hedges to fill out naturally, once it starts looking messy, trimming the plants in a V shape provides the most natural look (we all know how we feel after a bad haircut, same goes for your hedges!). Purchase hedges with the same width and height, in order to build a somewhat symmetrical wall. If you are looking for immediate privacy, hedges might not be your best bet as they take time to grow and fill out. Big trees or a fence might be more appropriate.

Is Hedge Trimming A Short-Term Or Long-Term Process?

Much like everything, hedge trimming is a long-term process to obtain the best results. You will need to be patient and wait for the plants to grow on their own, distributing this process will disrupt growth. Each shrub has its own growth habits (much like humans), so trying to speed up this process will not work.

To ensure the utmost safety and maintenance of your hedges (and you), at CedarSmith we are here to provide you with short-term and long-term trimming services. We offer a post-trim consultation and an annual maintenance program, so what are you waiting for? Contact us now for a consultation or with any questions.