Hedges Tips

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What are some trimming tips for a cedar hedge?

trimming tips for cedar hedge

When you begin to trim your cedar hedge, aim for a slightly tapered shape, narrower at the top than the base. If the shape is reversed, wider at the top, the base of the hedge will be shaded and eventually lose its leaves. The tapered shape also helps shed snow in winter. A flat topped hedge will tend to open under the weight of snow unless you go out and shake it off after every snowstorm.

   
What are some planting techniques for a hedge?

Planting techniques

Preparing your site for planting a hedge can be hard work. When you have cleared the site for your hedge, dig a 30 to 40 centimeter trench for the entire length of the hedge. Backfill the trench with a combination of 60 percent topsoil and 20 percent peat moss and well composted manure. This is the key to a vigorous and quickly established hedge…you can spread this job over a couple of weekends but, whatever you do, make sure the bed is complete and ready for planting the hedging shrubs that you will purchase.

   
What type of hedge trimmer should I buy?

choosing a hedge trimmer

A hedge trimmer can be very helpful in maintaining your shrubs. You can choose from gas, corded electric and rechargeable battery powered models. Gas types are the most powerful, while electric and battery operated trimmers are much quieter and easier to use. Remember, that with an electric model, you are limited by the length of your extension cord and with a rechargeable, you are limited by the duration of its' charge. ( approx. 25 minutes)

   
Does a hedge always have to be formal?

Informal hedges

A hedge doesn't have to be regimented and solid like you see in formal gardens and around traditional homes. Some plants can be used to create informal hedges that require little trimming…maybe, just a look over once a year to remove shoots that are growing out of line.

   
Can you give me some ideas for a hedge?

Ideas for a hedge

The stately blue columns of upright juniper, regularly spaced or used at the corners make great visual anchors for loose and billowy hedges of roses, weigela or viburnums. If you would like color in your hedge all summer long, try planting a low flowery hedge of yellow or white potentilla, deep pink spirea, and golden-leafed privet.

   
What is the first job to before planting a hedge?

preparing a hedge site

Once you have determined the location of your hedge, you should remove all vegetation from a 30 to 40 centimeter wide strip to make way for the new bed. It is important to do this thoroughly, since any plant matter, especially grass can become a major nuisance if it regenerates into the new hedge.

   
Where do you start when planting a hedge?

Starting Point for planting Hedges

To plant a hedge, use stakes and string, lay out two parallel lines, approximating the mature spread of the proposed hedge. A third string down the center marks the actual planting row. For a denser hedge, a second or even third row can be added, with the plants staggered along the lines.

   
Do you have tips for pruning a formal hedge?

tips for pruning formal hedges

A formal hedge may take several weekends a summer season to maintain. Shear the hedges from the first season they are planted so that a dense growth habit is established from the start. Shape so that the base is a bit wider than the top. This allows the hedge to remain well branched to the ground.

   
Can evergreens be used for a hedge?

try planting evergreens for a nice hedge

For a beautiful hedge you can plant evergreens tightly in single rows. This type of hedge requires little maintenance. Some choices would be Emerald Cedar, Hicks Yew, Korean Boxwood, or Montgomery Blue Spruce.

   
Do vines make a good hedge choice?

using vines for a hedge

If you would like a hedge that can be taken care of in a narrow space, like a formal hedge but still offer the casual appearance and flowering of the informal hedge, try planting vines. Vines can be trained over a wire fence or you can install upright wooden posts and horizontal wire at one foot intervals for a fence. If the vines are properly selected, the support structure should be invisible during the growing season. A good choice would be Silver lace vine or clematis

   
Can hedges provide a barrier for unwanted guests?

Using Hedges for a Barrier

If you would like to plant a hedge with the intention of keeping people and small animals, like dogs, out of a particular area (no hedge will keep out cats, rabbits or groundhogs), the hedge must be both physically and visually dense enough to deter any attempt to get through it. Try plants with prickly or thick growth such as holly, barberry, hawthorn, pyracantha or roses.

   
How should “clippings” be made on a young cedar hedge?

Cedars - clipping method for new cedars

Clippings on new cedars while being established should be light. Just remove the tips of the new shoots which will allow them to bush out and produce the thick growth required for a formal cedar hedge.

   
How should a newly planted cedar hedge be maintained?

Cedars - maintenance for newly planted

New cedar hedges may require a little more demand in care…they should be clipped twice a year for the first few years to encourage the growth of side shoots. This is usually done with the first shearing in early summer or once the spring growth is over. After clipping feed with a fertilizer made for cedars to encourage a second growth that should be lightly sheared in Sept.

   
Should a newly planted hedge be fertilized?

fertilizing newly planted hedges

You can fertilize your hedge at planting time with a high phosphorous fertilizer
(5-5-5) and follow with regular applications throughout the spring until mid summer. A thick 2-3 inch layer of shredded bark mulch will keep the weeds out and keep the hedge evenly moist.

   
Can a hedge be used as fence?

use a hedge instead of a fence

Instead of a fence, consider a hedge. It can be used to protect privacy, screen bad views, keep children and pets in or out, or just frame and accent certain areas. Hedges also make great backdrops for flowers and they will attract birds to their shelter.

   
Is cedar for hedging a good choice?

Cedars or "arborvitae"

A common hedge seen in many regions is the cedar. This is not a true cedar and most gardening books call it “arborvitae”. It has the advantage of being inexpensive and difficult to kill and could be the only evergreen that will stand being dug from the wild, left barefoot for several days in the hot sun and still grow when planted!
An established cedar hedge needs little maintenance, just clipping once a year during the summer months.

   
What shrubs can I use for a formal hedge?

shrubs for formal hedges

If you would like a formally clipped hedge try shrubs with slow, dense, tight growth, like traditional privet, arborvitae, cedar, Peking cotoneaster, or boxwood.

   
Are fast growing shrubs a wise choice for hedging?

fast growing may not be a good choice

Fast growing hedges may give you privacy quickly but they also need clipping more often if they are not to become too tall. Plants like, Chinese elm need clipping every two weeks in the summer or they will become small trees instead of a hedge!

   
What shrubs can be used for an informal hedge?

Ideas for Informal hedges

If you prefer an informal hedge that is big and sprawling, try shrubs like lilac, forsythia, bridalwreath spirea, mock orange, or roses…If you have the space, informal hedges can make a spectacular and effective “fence'” especially if flowering shrubs are used. Because they grow in a natural unmanicured way, an informal hedge requires more room than a sheared type hedge, so be sure to take their “mature” size into account when planting.

   
What can add interest to a hedge?

Tips for an interesting hedge

A mix-and-match approach to a hedge will add functional beauty to your landscape by giving you a great way to have interesting colors, textures, flowers and fruits all year long. A mixed hedge of crimson barberry and yew, for example will look good all year and magnificent in the fall when the brilliant berries and flame-colored foliage of the barberry contrasts with the deep green of the yew.

   
Is there anything to consider before planting a hedge?

Considerations before planting a hedge

Before planting any hedge along the borders of your property, check zoning laws. Some municipalities have limits on size, set back and even plant selection. Talk with your neighbors, too before setting a hedge between properties, and ask about any preferences or reservations they may have.
(and if you're lucky, they may offer to share the cost and help with maintenance!)

   
Are there any consideration when planting a hedge in areas that receiv

consideration with winter snow

If there is snow in your zone, remember that hedges block the wind and may also affect the way snow settles. A dense evergreen hedge, like cedar causes snow to pile up close to it, whereas a more open deciduous hedge will make the snow settle further out. This is worth keeping in mind if you are planting a hedge for wind protection on the side of a driveway.

   
When should certain hedges be pruned?

pruning tips for different type hedges

With flowering shrub hedges, prune shrubs early in the season after they bloom. Early spring is usually the best time to “shape” shrubs that flower in the last part of the summer.
Evergreen hedges should be pruned in spring and again early summer – evergreens should be shaped in late spring.
Deciduous hedges should be pruned every two weeks during the spring growth period and usually every three to four weeks in the summer.
An informal hedge should need only a once or twice a year trimming.
With a trained vine hedge you should get specific pruning instructions for each variety. Pruning will encourage greater flowering.

   
Can I plant a “summer only” hedge?

summer only hedge

If you need only a summer hedge, you can use annuals such as summer cypress (Kochia), sunflowers or cleome, or upright perennials like obedient plant (Physostegia), or daylilies. They also cost considerably less than woody plants.

   
What are some considerations for an informal hedge?

Informal - considerations

Deciduous shrubs used for hedging can have the bonus of flowers. Consider an informal hedge of mixed flowering shrubs such as quince, weigela or rugosa roses. Small shrubs such as pink spirea and potentillas make excellent informal hedges. Because they are not clipped, they can flower profusely and bloom a long time. Shrubs such as the burning bush (Euonymus) will also give you a brilliant display of fall color.

   
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Jolyn Wells-Moran