Hedge Trimming Mistakes

Hedges make a graceful addition to any garden space. Some hedges are better suited to decoration, while others serve more practical purposes. For instance, a hedge can be an excellent way to secure your property if you are not interested in installing fencing. Hedges, like fences, can also serve as privacy fences from nosy neighbors.

Although they serve many purposes, hedges do require maintenance. They are not for people who have no time to care for them, so if your schedule is already overpacked, then hedges might not be the best option.

If you do decide to go forward with planting hedges or if you already have some hedges that need a little TLC, here are a few suggestions of things you can do to avoid common hedge hacking mistakes.

Pick the Right Kind of Hedge for Your Space and Needs

There are different kinds of hedges so you will need to figure out which is best for your space and for your needs. Your local garden center should have a good selection of hedge plants that will thrive in your area and should be able to offer helpful suggestions when choosing the right hedge for your garden.


As with most things, the key to pruning your hedges is preparation. If you take some time to educate yourself on proper pruning techniques, you will save yourself a lot of time and hassle down the line, not to mention how much better your hedges will look as a result of your careful preparation.

Invest in a Good Hedge Trimmer

You need the proper tools to do the job properly. Being prepared and having the right tools are two very important steps, though far too many people are content to skip over these and get right onto the trimming. There are many good hedge trimmers on the market today.

You will need to assess your needs to pick the best kind of trimmer for your garden. If you have a lot of trimming that needs to be done on a regular basis, you might consider investing in an electric hedge trimmer to decrease the strain on your body and your time.

Your Hedge Shouldn't Be Straight (From the Bottom to the Top that is)

Even though you may want your hedges to look straight, you dont really want to trim in a straight line from the bottom to the top. What you want to aim for rather is a wider base and narrower top. Gardeners often refer to this shape as an inverted keystone. What is the reasoning behind this shape? You want to make sure that enough sunlight reaches the bottom of the hedge and this type of shape ensures that.

Measure Once, cut Twice?

Though you do not want your hedges to be a straight up and down wall, you do want the final product to appear straight and even. How do you achieve this? Again, it all rests in the preparation. If you put the work into measuring and marking out your design before you begin cutting, you will end up with a much better looking hedge than simply eyeballing it.

You want to use a tape measure to place guides exactly where you want the cuts to be. This part of the process may seem time consuming, but on the bright side the actual trimming will fly by and will be worry free thanks to the time you put into the planning stages.


If you make a wrong cut, it is not the end of the world, but if you try too hard to fix it, it might be the end of your hedge. A lot of people, when making a mistake will overcompensate by moving away from their plan and making more cuts than intended to match the mistaken side.

Take a deep breath, step away and see if there is a way to match the other side. If there is, then trying adjusting your guides. If there is not any easy fix for the problem, then just leave well enough alone. The hedge will always grow back. If you are too hasty while trying to fix the problem, you most likely will end up with an eyesore.