Ultimate Guide On How To Trim Overgrown Hedges

Trimming Hedges with Ease: Your Guide!

There are two main benefits brought by a perfectly pruned evergreen hedge.

On the one hand, if you know how to trim overgrown hedges, your garden will be surrounded by a visually stunning natural perimeter.

It can considerably increase the ornamental value of your entire household. On the other hand, there’s the privacy aspect. If you master how far you can trim hedges, you will be able to maintain their height at your desired height.

It will act as a natural fence, keeping all unwanted attention away. So let’s go through some of the best tips that can help you perfectly trim your hedge:

1. What to Consider Before Trimming the Tall Hedges

Before grabbing the trimmer, you should be aware that there are several types of fences and that there is an optimal pruning time-frame for each. Deciduous hedges lose their leaves in autumn, so the best time to trim their tall hedges will be late winter, in either December, January, or early February.

Evergreen hedges can make excellent privacy screens, as most of them grow and reach maturity fast. Of course, you can snip some stems now and then. However, the perfect time to grab the best hedge trimmer you can find and perform an extensive pruning is during spring and early summer.

2. Useful Gear to Help You

But knowing exactly how to trim overgrown hedges won’t cut it unless you also make sure to have all the necessary gear at your disposal. Even if you own the best hedge trimmer out there, you will still need the following additional items:

·       A-Frame Ladder:

Most hedges will quickly grow taller than you, by several feet. It is where a step ladder, also known as the A-Frame Ladder, can come in handy.

A quick tip: before climbing it, either get someone to hold it steady, or place scrap plywood beneath its fit. This way, you won’t risk falling and hurting yourself with the trimmer.

·       Farming Gloves:

Protecting your hands when trimming overgrown hedges is something you need to take into consideration. A high-quality pair of farming gloves can save you a lot of unnecessary pain. If you use a trimmer barehanded, the friction will quickly end up causing severe blisters.

·       Safety Glasses:

If you’ve just started learning how to trim hedges with electric trimmer wearing safety glasses is mandatory. You need to protect your eyes at all times from any small branches or splinters that might spring from your trimmer.

3. Tips on How to Trim Tall Hedges

The first things you need to know when dealing with tall shrubs are how often and how far can you trim hedges. Most hedges will need to be pruned regularly using the right pruning tools for a couple of years to reach the perfect height to act as a privacy screen.

As such, you should run the trimmer over the top daily, so that it grows evenly. But you should avoid doing this during winter, as this will keep the hedges from hardening off and thus enhance your landscape appearance.

You will most definitely need the A-frame Ladder for tall ones. As for how far you can trim hedges, another great garden tool that might come in handy would be a long reach trimmer.

4. First Time Trimming Tips

If you decided to plant flowering shrubs or something like hawthorn and privet do it at spring and consider pruning it in a month after it was planted. The best decision is to cut the third part of its height.

Don’t worry if it seems too much for you. It will not kill your shrubs but will make it wider at the base for a lifetime. You don’t want your hedge to be thin. After that, you will have to cut half of new growth in autumn.

At this time your shrubs will already have big width so you can cut it to give it a shape you like. Other plants like hornbeam or evergreens don’t like cutting straight after planting. You may consider trimming only sides by one-third max.

Do not panic if it will seem thin. It will make it grow higher and faster. After that when it grows a few inches higher then you want it to be you can start clipping it. Staying on the same height will make your hedge grow wider.

5. Warnings and Precautions

Safety always comes first, so before climbing up the step ladder, you need to learn its weight requirements. You should also avoid standing on its apex or climbing on its top rung.

Another thing you need to take into consideration when learning how to trim overgrown hedges is the pesticides and chemicals you have used on it. They can lead to serious allergic reactions, hence why farming gloves are mandatory.

Lastly, protect your eyes at all times by wearing safety glasses.


Each one of these tips and guidelines plays an essential part in how to trim tree branches and overgrown hedges correctly. You don’t need to be a professional horticulturist to master the most challenging parts of pruning.

In the end, keen eye for symmetry, good level of skill, stable A-frame ladder and sharp trimmer are just about all the things you need in order to get the job done.

Author Bio:

Archie was a builder for more than 40 years. Mainly after his retirement the enthusiastic electrical works in garden and writes for a blog Homemakerguide.com to keep himself occupied.

His many years of experience can get you the right garden tool reviews whether it is a drill, welding machine or so. An impressive fact to note about him is that almost everything in his house is a representation of his skills made by his hands.