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hedge trimmer
How To Avoid Hedgerow Woes
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How to Avoid Hedgerow Woes

A beautiful and natural way to create boundary lines and define your lawn borders is to introduce hedges. A well placed hedge can also act as fencing for dogs and children, or can help direct traffic flow through your landscape. Just as a well maintained hedge can add beauty to your landscape, one that is out of control will become an eyesore. It doesn’t take much to keep your shrubs groomed, just give them a gentle trim and prune when needed.

The popularity of the hedgerow in North American landscapes is owed to the gardens of Europe, and nowhere are they a more quintessential feature than in the English garden. Hedgerows are entrenched in the culture of United Kingdom and date back to Roman times. Thick lines of holly, hawthorn, blackthorn and other shrubs were used by farmers as an important tool to guard against wind damage and soil erosion and also to prevent the occasional stray cow from stealing an easy meal. The hedges provided an attraction for essential pollinating insects, too.

The onset of modern farming brought extremely large, efficient machinery which did not bode well for the stately hedgerows and throughout the countryside, many were destroyed. Alarmed that so many of these beloved icons were being destroyed in the UK, a Hedgerow Regulation Law was introduced in 1997 deeming the removal of hedges on farmland illegal without a permit.

Hedges are a prominent feature in landscape design and don't ask much of the homeowner. They only have three easy requirements: they need to be watered, fertilized and trimmed. Many shrubs are hardy enough to thrive even if its first two needs are neglected, however, neglect the latter and you’ll find you’ll suffer some hedgerow woes!

Unkempt hedges are an instant eyesore in any landscape. Don’t be intimidated by the trimming process and allow your hedges to grow out of control. If you trim yearly you'll be happy with the results. Using a hedge trimmer or shears is fine, but don’t forget to hand prune it as well. It’s important to remove some of the inner shrub to allow adequate sunlight to reach the entire plant. With a clean bypass pruner reach in and clip branches at 45 degree angle every few feet. This will prevent the shrub from turning brown on the inside and will keep it healthy.

The best time to trim a hedge is in winter before buds have set. If you want to trim a flowering shrub, wait for the blossoms to turn brown before trimming. The natural growth pattern of bushes is normally wider at the top. When trimming, try to reverse this trend by shaping a narrower top or crown. By crowning your bushes you will allow more sunlight to reach more of the plant and you will keep bush-damaging snow from accumulating.

The hedgerow is a perfect element to add to your landscape. Use it in your garden design as a hardworking border, a director of traffic flow, a quiet backdrop, or friendly fencing. It’s easy to grow and has few requirements. As long as you water, fertilize and trim your hedges you’ll enjoy them for a long time.

Street Talk

I love a good trimmed hedge. What better way to have a natural divider or wall.

  about 9 years ago
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