Prune A Hedge
A hedge is a line of small trees or bushes which are planted very close together, especially along the edge of a road, field, or a garden. Pruning means to trim a bush, a tree or a hedge by cutting the dead or the overgrown branches or stems, basically to encourage growth.
Pruning a hedge stimulates the growth of new branches and also reduces pest infestations. As it promotes the growth of the branches, it makes the hedge much stronger and bushier. When shaping is done along with pruning of the hedge, it makes it even more attractive and beautiful.
Gardening is a hobby for many people, but many of them do not know the proper method of pruning a hedge. Either they do it at the wrong time of the year, or they use the wrong equipment or method. This article is written with the purpose of serving as a guide to pruning your hedge, such that everybody can prune their trees and hedges perfectly and make their gardens attractive.
Methods of pruning
There are various types of hedges, and each variety requires a different way of pruning and shaping. Here are the introductions about each of them-
This is simply pruning the dead, diseased, and broken branches to make the hedge cleaner. You will generally do that to mature plants.
Plants with thick foliage are treated with this method of pruning. This is just decreasing the density of the hedge to allow sunlight and air to pass through. This is considered as a selective method.
This is also a selective pruning method. Reducing a plant is basically shaping it in such a way that it looks more tidy and beautiful. Not all plants are selected for this type of pruning. Plants with good health and growth are generally selected for this type of pruning.
Raising is done to clear the top of the hedge. This is generally applied to make it more convenient for the surrounding, which is generally commercial places.
When to prune
Firstly, it is to be decided that when you want to prune your hedge. Different varieties of hedge have different seasonal preferences. Mostly, the proper time to prune a hedge is the late winter or the early spring.
During these seasons, the plant loses its sap, and henceforth they do not suffer much, which further promotes the growth. Additively, these seasons have minimal disease transmission or pest infestations.
Tools for pruning
To have a proper pruning, you need a proper hedge pruning guide. Two of the equipment which are explicitly necessary for pruning are garden stakes and a pruner string. These two serve as a marking tool. With them, you can mark the parts that you want to trim. Alongside that you will also need the best hedge shears.
Uncontrolled trimming can cause serious damage to the hedge. So, don’t hurt the plants much and cut as minimal as possible. Only the overgrown branches or stems should be pruned.
Here are some recommended tools for certain thickness of branches-
- If the branches of the hedge are thin (0.75 inches of diameter or even below that), hand pruners are advisable. Bypass and anvil are the most recommended hand pruners.
- If the hedge has thick branches (0.75 – 1.5 inches), loppers are needed to be used.
- For the branches which are more than 3 inches, electric pruners or trimming saws are recommended.
- For shaping the hedges, pruners can be used, but a garden spear will make it easier.
These are the standards. You can go your way if you are comfortable with something else.
Steps to pruning
In order to have a perfect pruning and shaping, without harming the hedge, there are certain steps to follow. You have to make the right cuts such that you prevent the formation of wounds so that the plant can recover faster.
- While trimming a branch, the major bud must be located. A cut should be made .25 inches above it. Then a shallow cut, preferably near the collar of the stem, should be made.
- Opposite the first cut, another cut is to be made, but slightly up or down the branch. The remaining stub must be cut, ensuring that there is no peeling of the bark of the branches.
- If the hedge has any damaged part, it should be removed first.
- After the removal of the damaged or diseased branches, you should disinfect your equipment to avoid the spread of the disease any further.
- The narrow and weak crotches, the co-dominant branches, the crossing branches, or any other such unwanted branches must be cut off.
- Lastly, protect the major branches and the stems to ensure proper growth and dress the wounds properly.
- Follow this process to have a nice pruning experience
Pruning a hedge is a large and practical topic. So, pardon me if I have missed anything. However, here you will have all the basics you need to start pruning your hedge.
Thanks a lot for taking care of your hedge.