A Quick Guide to Hedge Maintenance

What is the best way to maintain hedges and when should hedges be cut back? These are just two of many important hedge maintenance questions we’ll be answering.

If you’re getting into gardening, hedge trimming is one of the fundamental skills you’re going to need. We shed some light on the art of hedge maintenance here by answering the most asked novice questions. 

What is hedge maintenance?

Hedge maintenance refers to the trimming or pruning of hedges. This is done to encourage healthy growth and for aesthetic benefits. Hedge maintenance might also be needed to prevent encroaching on neighbouring properties. 

Hedge shaping has become somewhat of an art form in recent years, with many people choosing to shape their hedges in creative and impressive ways. 

How do you maintain a hedge?

You can maintain a hedge with different levels of pruning:

  • Light pruning – A light prune is when you cut thin and small branches from the hedge. It’s required once or twice per year. Evergreen hedges will generally need a single prune, whereas deciduous hedges typically need two light prunes.
  • Moderate pruning – A moderate prune is cutting fruit-bearing branches to sprout new buds. You can sometimes cut back as much as two-thirds of these branches for best results. 
  • Heavy pruning – heavy or hard pruning is when you cut back the hedge to the thickest trunk. This is a technique reserved for older hedges when looking to restore them to their glory days. 

Hedge maintenance may also include removing parts of a hedge, possibly to make way for a path or building. This requires more manual labour and the use of machinery for an efficient result. 

When should hedges be cut back?

Evergreen hedges should be pruned between May and August. If your hedges require two prunes per year, the optimum time is once in Spring and the second in late summer or early Autumn. Hard pruning is best completed on a dry winter’s day. 

Many factors can influence the best time to prune hedges, which is why you can ask our advice at NJ Apps. Get in touch for support or to hear about our own hedge trimming services in Kent. 

Can you cut hedges in October?

Yes, October can be one of the preferred months to prune hedges. The ideal time will depend on your hedges. For a more definitive answer, it’s best to speak with a professional. 

You might be interested to hear that some countries make hedge pruning illegal at certain times of the year. For example, French law prohibits hedge pruning between March and July to protect birds within the nesting period. 

How often should you trim your hedge?

The rule of thumb is that your hedges should be trimmed back at least once each year. Some species will require more frequent hedge trimming and maintenance. If you’re unsure, it’s best to speak with a professional for guidance. 

How much does professional hedge trimming cost?

Professional hedge maintenance services can vary in cost. Checkatrade estimates that the average cost is between £60 and £100 per hour of work. How much that can be completed within an hour will depend on the height and length of the hedge. 

Hedge removal services will cost considerably more. These costs are comparable to stump removal services.  

How to deal with a gap in your hedge

Gaps in a hedge can ruin the outdoor aesthetic you’re trying to create. So what can you do about gaps in a hedge? There’s a possibility that the hedge just needs more sunlight to close up the gap. You can get more sunlight to this part of the hedge by trimming back branches on either side that could be causing the problem. 

If sunlight isn’t the issue, you might need to do some more planting. It’s important to use plants of a similar height or the gap will take a long time to be filled.   

Do I have to maintain my neighbour’s hedge?

You’re not responsible for your neighbour’s hedges. Your neighbour must maintain their hedges to prevent damage to your property, or they can be liable to cover any damages caused. 

Kent hedge trimming services

NJ Apps offers leading hedge trimming and hedge maintenance services across Kent. We can assist domestic clients and commercial businesses to improve the health and aesthetics of their hedges with no hidden costs. All hedge trimming is carried out by an experienced tree surgeon to ensure the very best results. Get in touch now to learn more or to get a free hedge maintenance quote