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How to Trim Shrubs With a Hedge Trimmer. The experts at String Trimmers Direct have put together this helpful guide to getting started with hedge trimming


Maintaining Healthy Hedges & Shrubs

How to Trim Shrubs With a Hedge Trimmer

String Trimmer
Product Expert
Maintaining Healthy Hedges & Shrubs

If you're new to trimming hedges or still use hand shears, power hedge trimmers may be intimidating.

Knowing the basics will bring you more confidence and success as you first start out.

Whether trimming an individual shrub or a close row of shrubs (known as a hedge), it's important to know the do's and don'ts.

Having a plan helps prevent mistakes, and leaves you with beautifully healthy shrubs.

Safety Gear
Gearing Up
Before you begin, it's important to have the proper safety gear.

Goggles or glasses should be worn to protect your eyes from debris. Gloves and closed-toe shoes should be worn as added protection from the cutting blade.

Long sleeves and long pants should also be worn to protect your skin from flying debris or falling branches.

Pre Season Prep Pruning
Pre-Season Prep Work
Prior to new spring growth, you may want to do some pruning. Over time, hedges and shrubs can become overgrown, blocking sunlight from the interior branches.

At the start of each new season, use a pair of sharpened pruning shears to cut out dead, damaged, or crossing branches.

This helps provide more sunlight and ventilation for new growth.

Shaping Your Shrubs
Trimming Your Hedges
Once the dead and diseased branches have been removed, shake out any remaining debris that's stuck inside the hedge.

Begin at the bottom of the shrub and trim upward and inward to trim a smooth taper to the top. As you work inward, be careful not to trim all of the leaves off a branch. You want some leaves over the outside, but not so many that they block out sunlight.

You want the bottoms of the shrubs to be slightly wider than the top so they get plenty of sun.

A Properly Trimmed Shrub
As you reach the top, sweep sideways at an angle to round the top edge off. This will help to allow more sunlight through to the inner branches.

Then continue around the shrub, always starting at the bottom and moving upward to round off the top edge.

This will give you a balanced shape that allows for healthy growth and optimal sunlight exposure. As it grows, keep an eye on the shrub and trim when necessary, but be careful not to trim too frequently or it may have trouble recovering.

NEXT: How to Pick the Perfect Hedge Trimmer

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