Three Tips For Keeping Your Boxwood Hedges Neat And Tidy

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Boxwood hedges can look stunning and classy as a part of your landscape -- but only when you are able to keep them neat and orderly. If you don't have a lot of experience trimming hedges, this may seem quite challenging. You can't just grab the tree shears and dive in and expect to get a good result. To ensure your hedges end up looking beautiful and not ragged, adhere to these three tips.

Don't trim the hedges in the late fall.

People often assume they should neaten up their landscaping before the cold hits, but in the case of boxwood hedges, this is a mistake. When you trim you hedges, the exposed ends need time to "harden off" before they're able to face the harsh weather in winter. Trimming in the late fall does not give the ends time to do this, and may cause some of the branches to die. Start trimming your hedges in mid-spring, and repeat the trimming every several weeks throughout the summer, stopping in early September.

Trim out dead branches by hand before using an electric shearer.

If you just tackle the hedge with an electric shear, all branches will be cut equally. You really want to remove all of the dead branches, and then trim the living ones to shorten them. Accomplish this by first attacking the bush with hand shears, clipping out any noticeably dead branches. Then, use the electric shears, cutting the branches to an even length. Always start by leaving the branches a little longer than you think you want them; you can always take more off if you finish and the tree looks too long, but you can't add length back on!

When using electric shears, trim with long, sweeping motions rather than short, choppy ones.

If you hack at the hedge a little at a time, your results are almost certain to look uneven. It will be obvious where you picked up the blade and placed it back against the hedge. Using long, sweeping motions will result in fewer of these obvious "bumps." Make one long, sweeping motion across the top of the bush, and subsequent motions down the sides of the bush, either in a straight line or a rounded line depending on your desired hedge shape.

Some people find trimming hedges to be pretty simple after they try it a few times, while others continue to find the task a challenge. If you're struggling to make your hedges look good, don't hesitate to hire a professional to tackle this chore for you.

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23 September 2015

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