How to trim a conifer hedge

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug, May, Sep

Takes just:

15 minutes

The easiest way to trim established conifer hedges is by using a powered hedge-trimmer to give a regular, even finish. Quick-growing conifers will need about three cuts per year during the growing season, at roughly eight week intervals.

Inspect your hedge thoroughly before trimming it to ensure there are no birds nesting within. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.

You will need

  • Conifer hedge
  • Electric or petrol-powered hedge-trimmer
  • Safety goggles, gloves
  • String line and canes
  • Secure ladder and/or work platform for tall hedges

Advertisement

Use long bamboo canes to mark the top edge along one side of the hedge. Push the canes down into the hedge.

Tie strong string between the canes to mark a straight edge as a guide to cut to. Check the string line is taut.

Trim the top of the hedge by holding the hedge-trimmer horizontally with both hands and using the string line as a guide. Wear protective goggles and gloves and make sure you have a firm footing on a ladder or a platform for tall hedges.

Clip the sides of the hedge using the string as a guide. Hold the hedge-trimmer vertically and make long sweeping strokes to ensure an even finish.

Remove the canes and string line before using the hedge-trimmer to tidy up the top edges. Hold the cutting bar at a 45-degree angle.

Advertisement

Test any ladders and platforms to make sure they are stable before getting on them with a hedge-trimmer. Make them more secure by tying them in to the hedge with a strong rope.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Trimming a hedge

How can I close a gap in a privet hedge?

Can I get my neighbours to trim their hedge?

Related offers

Offer

Subscriber only content

Buy one, get one free

Save over £27 when you buy any duo fruit tree for £19.99 and get another one free. Plus, you'll also receive a free planting kit for each tree with your order. Enter code at checkout to claim this offer.

Unlock now

FREE P&P

Subscriber only content

Geranium 'Rozanne' - free p&p

Buy one Geranium 'Rozanne' plant for £9.99, or save £9.98 when you buy three for just £19.99. You'll also get free p&p with this offer.

Unlock now

SAVE 20%

Subscriber only content

Save 20% on ferns

Shade-loving ferns are perfect for courtyard gardens and shady beds. Save 20 per cent across the wide range of ferns at Crocus, until midnight on Thursday 2 March, 2017.

Unlock now