Hedges look great in your garden. Most hedges are quite high maintenance in terms of how often they need to be pruned. But once you know what you are doing, they are actually easy to maintain once you have grown them out a bit. One way to keep them looking great is by regularly pruning them. Pruning hedges can be laborious work, but if you have the right tools and the proper knowledge, you can keep your hedges healthy, neat, and beautiful which pays for itself in the long run.


Tools You’ll Need 

  • Hand shears

If you are a home gardener, you should have a nice pair of hand shears.  This tool allows you to achieve a cleaner, closer cut on branches and leaves.

  • Pruning Saw and Electric Trimmer

If the branches of your hedge are too thick to cut with hand shears, you need a pruning saw or an electric trimmer. You can either buy one or hire one, dependent on what you think will be the most worthwhile.

  • Two Poles and a String

You will need the poles and a string to create a straight line to guide your pruning.

5 Steps in Pruning Your Hedge


  1. Start by trimming out all the dead branches. Experts from the Tree Fellers say that you always have to cut off as near to the main stem as possible, as this technique will allow new growth from the base of the shrub.
  2. Set up your pruning guide line by placing the poles at either end of the hedge you need to trim and fixing the string between the posts.
  3. Begin shaping the hedge from the top. Prune the top part by following the guide line at your desired shape. As you work along, trim off all the overgrown branches. Just make sure to cut as close to the main stem as possible.
  4. Before you go down to the bottom part of the hedge, move your poles to set up an appropriate guide line for this part. This is essential for tall hedges, as the guide line will keep the desired width all along the hedge.
  5. Once you’re done, remove the hedge trimmings left around and on top of the hedge. You can use a small hand brush or straw broom to get rid of all trimmings from the hedge. Throw them away or add them to a compost pile. Just make sure not to leave them around the hedge as they can attract pests.


After pruning your hedge plants, apply a slow release fertiliser and a mulch at the base to ensure vigorous and healthy new growth

If you are having trouble pruning your trees yourself, you could always call you’re a local tree specialist to help. Whether you need tree pruning in Tauranga, Hamilton or Dunedin, there is always some local professional that can help. However, these companies don’t work for free so there are probably additional costs involved.

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