GET YOUR HEDGES INTO SHAPE
The more you prune a hedge, the denser and fuller it will be as the pruning process promotes new fresh growth. Taking off a little more often is the best way to get those Insta-perfect hedges we all dream about. Don’t trim your hedge if it is too hot or sunny! If the leaves inside your hedges are suddenly exposed to bright sunlight, their sensitive dermal tissue could get burned.
How to encourage full, bushy hedges.
To encourage long-term bushy and full growth for your hedge, trim your hedges narrower at the top than they are at the bottom. This allows the sun to reach the bottom of the hedge.
Also, check your hedge to see if there are any patches within the hedge where growth appears to be struggling. If there is, then thin out the leafy areas near to and around this growth. Doing this enables the sunlight to reach and nourish these places, encouraging them to grow and thicken.
Keep it clean
When you’re cutting a hedge, your trimmer will collect dirt, sap and other residue, as well as the remains of the hedge. This will make the blade far less efficient at cutting, making it harder to cut your hedges in future if it isn’t cleaned up.
To clean your trimmer, start by carefully picking out any leaves, twigs or other bits of debris (while the device is switched off or unplugged, of course). Once you have cleaned off the debris, take a dry cloth and the STIHL Superclean resin-cleaning solvent, spray the blades of the trimmer, and then wipe off the resin.
This will help keep your trimmer clean, shiny and effective at cutting through hedges, meaning it won’t have to be sharpened as often.
WATCH CHARLIE’S ‘TIP CLIP’
‘How to trim for Healthy Hedges’
STIHL HSA 26 battery shrub shears at the ready, Charlie demonstrates some simple trimming techniques easily adopted to keep your hedge growth full, dense and healthy throughout the Spring.
Charlie’s top tips for hedge trimming
- To save time and keep your beds or paths clean and tidy, lay a tarp beneath the hedge to catch all the cuttings.
- When cutting the side of the hedge, start from the bottom and swing the hedge trimmer upwards in an arc while cutting. Stop cutting to walk forward, lower hedge trimmer and then repeat.
- Cut the top of the hedge by holding the cutting blades at an angle of less than 10°. The slight angle will stop them catching on twiggy branches.
- For tall or wide hedges, a long-reach hedge trimmer is the safest option, allowing you to work with your feet safely on the ground.
- Promote healthy growth by tapering any patchy areas, allowing the sunlight to get in.
- Use a resin solvent like STIHL Superclean after trimming to keep your blades in top condition and make them easier to clean after use.
- Give back to your garden and shred your trimmings into mulch. STIHL Garden Shredders make quick work of hedge clippings or branches up to 35mm.
Charlie’s top battery tools for hedge trimming
- If you’ve got only a small number of hedges no higher than shoulder height, a great value packed hedge trimmer is the STIHL HSA 45. At only 2.3kg, it’s lightweight and very easy to use.
- For small to medium sized gardens, the HSA 56 from the STIHL AK Battery System is capable of trimming over 140m of hedges (up to 2 metres high) on a single charge.
- And for high or wide hedges the HLA 56 Long-Reach Hedge Trimmer (also part of the STIHL AK Battery System) is a great option. With a total length of 2.1m and an adjustable blade angle, you will master those tall and hard- to-reach hedges in no time.
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