Our Top Hedge Tips
Here at Cheltenham Tree services, we have many experiences in maintaining and trimming the hedges of the homes and businesses in and around Cheltenham. Over our 25 years in tree pruning and hedge trimming, we have seen a fair few of impressive hedge creations. We understand that choosing, making and caring for a hedge can be a difficult and a daunting task. However, it is not as hard as you think and can transform the look of your garden at your home or business property drastically. If you’re wanting to be the envy of your friends this summer or even want to create a more private area in your garden or business property, check out our planting, growing and maintaining hedge guide below on the how you can create a healthy and effective hedge yourself.
How to Choose the Best Hedge Plant
Choosing the correct plant is crucial for the success of sculpting your hedge. Depending on the look you are going for with determining the plant that you go for. We recommend choosing a plant that is slow to moderate growing so that your design or shape doesn’t get overgrown too rapidly. Otherwise, you will be having to get your hedge trimmers out frequently! There is a huge range of different plants you can choose from such as:
- This traditional plant sets the standards for formal clipped hedges. It’s strong and durable growth rates mean that it is able to withstand frequent clipping and shaping so that you are able to get your hedge into the perfect shape for you. It is able to grow up to 20 feet tall so it is not only suitable for shaping but also for creating a garden screen to stop unwanted people snooping in on your property.
- Japanese barberry
- This plant is beautiful in colour and it’s growth ability. Your friends won’t be able to miss it when passing you garden at your home or business. It can grow up to 6 foot so can be used for small hedge sculptures
- Flowering quince
- This is another great shrub for a privacy screen. It can grow up to 10 feet tall and also comes with the extra benefit of sprouting beautiful white, pink and scarlet blossoms. However, it does also come with sharp spines which makes it a great barrier but not a perfect choice for your garden if you have children or pets likely to be around!
- Sawara False Cypress
- This plant is sometimes also known as the threadleaf false cypress. It is a slow-growing evergreen which means that you won’t have to worry about regular trimming or pruning, plus you can be sure that it will stay the same fresh green colour throughout the entire year. It can grow up to an incredible 20 feet, with many variations of colour and plant form available.
- Regularly pruning your holly bush can make it an excellent choice for a hedge or garden hedge sculpture. With many different variations such as dwarf yaupon holly, meserve holly and inkberry holly which are all the easiest variation to look after due to them requiring less pruning, you are able to choose the perfect one for your garden.
- This is one of the most common and versatile evergreens. They are able to stay as small shrub hedges or be allowed to grow up to huge upright trees. They are easy to prune and do not grow back quickly, saving you time and effort when it comes to hedge care.
- This is another highly common plant chosen for hedges and hedge sculptures. It is yellow-green in colour and can grow up to around 12 feet tall. It is easy to trim, even with just only shears. However, if you leave it to grow out, it still makes an attractive assess to your garden, as it will grow into a wonderful vase shape naturally. It will bear white flowers in the spring and won’t die during a drought or little watering.
- Scarlet Firethorn
- This is a brightly coloured hedge that is more inclined to warmer climates but deciduous in colder regions. It has stiff, thorn-like branches and can grow up to 18 feet tall making it an excellent choice for a privacy hedge. It also produces small red-orange berries in the summer making it a standout choice for a hedge plant.
How to Plant a Hedge
When it comes to planting a hedge, getting it right is not hard at all. As long as you are sure that you want to place a hedge or garden feature in the chosen place. This is because uprooting a hedge can be tricky and most likely result in the plant dying. Follow our hedge tips steps below to ensure that you plant the perfect hedge
- Plot your hedge line
- Begin by staking and marking your planting area. This will stop any confusion later down the line! It can be a straight line, a boxed area or even a curved line. It is also useful to avoid planting over utilities such as pipeworks to stop the roots entangling round them in the future.
- Check your planting space
- After choosing your perfect hedge plants, place the potted plants in your allotted area, ensuring that there is enough room for them to grow and not get attached to one another too early on. If you want a thicker hedge, why not double up on the rows so that you have a more stable hedge base, especially if you are looking to create a tall hedge for privacy.
- Plant your shrubs
- Begin by digging a hole that fits your potted shrub in. If your pot can fit in smoothly then it will mean that your shrub can too. Next, remove the nursery pots and place your shrubs gently into your freshly dug holes. You are then able to fill in the remaining gaps in your planting holes with the removed soil from earlier. For extra growth, you are able to add fertilized soil that will benefit the growth and health of your shrubs.
- In the UK, it is not rare for it to rain. However, during dry periods, we recommend watering each shrub thoroughly. To assist the shrubs with retaining the water, you can form a ring of soil around each one of the planting holes so that more water is able to soak into the soil below that holds their roots.
How to Trim Your Hedge
If you are just wanting a hedge that is able to contain your garden at your home or business, trimming them can be simple. For larger hedges, we do recommend calling in the experts such as Cheltenham Tree Services as they can require specialist equipment to reach the hard to reach areas.
What tools do I need?
There are a few tools that any hedge owner should have in their garden shed or utility room. Each of these tools should be available at your local gardening or DIY stores at a reasonable price. These are:
- Handheld pruners – These are small scissor-like and allow you to cut smaller branches with damage to your hedge or bush
- Loppers – These are long-handled scissor-like cutters that allow you to reach higher areas of your hedge and are able to cut large amounts off in one cut.
- Small curved saw – This is a small tool that allows you to cut off thicker branches, especially those that are dead and nearer the base of your hedge.
When using these tools, you must make sure that you take care and ensure proper safety methods are undertaken.
To begin with, you should use the loppers to remove any large dead branches and leaves. This will mean cutting the hedge back a little bit or even in some cases, removing entire branches from the base of the shrub. This can be difficult if your shrub is of considerable size and it may require a chainsaw or a professional to be called. Removing the dead or diseased branches can help the growth and lifespan of your hedge, and ensure that it continues to look attractive and healthy throughout the year.
Once you have cleared the large dead branches or trimmed your hedge back to a respectable size, you are now able to take your hand help pruners and shape your hedge into the desired shape that you wish. Take a look at our favourite designs below for inspiration for your hedges.
If you’re looking for an experienced team of tree and hedge maintenance experts that are fully qualified and experienced in maintaining hedges, then look no further than Cheltenham Tree Services. With over 25 years experience, our team of hedge maintenance have performed work on hedges ranging from large dead branch trimming to imaginative hedge designs. We also offer regular maintenance scheduling so that if your hedge is a hedge plant that is a fast grower, you are able to keep it looking tidy all year round to continue to impress your friends, family and other visitors. To learn more about our hedge tips, contact us today or call us on 01242808929