A well-trimmed hedge adds an amazing level of curb appeal to just about any property. Hedges afford better privacy, an excellent wind break, or an attractive border to any home. Single accent bushes can set off the look of the house or lawn better than most other additional touches. Conversely, a poorly-kept hedge can greatly reduce your curb appeal and make a house look unkempt and neglected. Many investors and homeowners pay professional landscapers to trim their hedges, which is a prudent course of action for some more delicate types of shrubs. However, many of the more popular types of hedges are quite hardy and easy to trim yourself.
A nice, squared-off look is easy to achieve in your hardy hedge. Using four poles, some string or twine, a level, some shears, and a good pair of hedge clippers it’s easy to do what a professional will exact a high fee to accomplish. Bear in mind that larger, mature shrubs must be cut at a slight angle from top to bottom so that the bottom branches will still get sufficient sunlight to keep the foliage green and healthy.
Place the poles several inches in the ground on all four corners of the hedge. Make sure each pole is in the position where you want the trimmed corners of your hedge. Run your string or twine across the poles, a couple feet off the ground on the bottom and level with your desired trimmed top. These strings will be loose. Using the shears, trim any individual branches that are in the way of the string, tightening as you go until all strings are taut.
If desired, you may use a level to ensure your guide strings run perfectly flat. The top guide strings, especially, must be precisely placed to ensure a neat trim. Once you are satisfied with the placement of all strings, it’s time to cut. Using the hedge clippers, trim everything that falls outside of the guide strings. If the hedge is especially shaggy and you can’t see the guide strings well, cut in small amounts until you can clearly see your guides. Repeat trimming on all sides and top of the hedge.
Once the trimming has been done and the hedge is to the size you want, trimming will be much easier. Mature shaped hedges that have been properly maintained have a very definite shape that’s easy to follow for future trims. Routine trims will ensure an attractive, otherwise nearly maintenance-free border or lawn feature for great curb appeal.