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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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5 - Pruning
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Tree pruning

Clipping and trimming
In principle, this has exactly the same effect as pinching out shoot tips on a fuchsia, the stems below will branch out, thus making the hedge thicker. Clipping allows you to shape a hedge or topiary.

The skill is deciding when to do it, so you minimise the amount you have to do!
Beech hedge
Leafy formal hedges
Topiary and leafy, formal hedges like beech and conifers need clipping twice a year (June and again in late August) if you want them looking perfect. However, you can get away with just the late August cut if you don’t mind your hedges looking a bit 'stubbly' during summer.

Clip mini hedges of dwarf box used to outline borders and knot gardens in May.

Clip fast-growing formal hedges, for example privet, about every six weeks from May to September.
Tools for clipping and trimming
  • Hedge shears and hedge-trimmers (electric or petrol) for hedges and large topiary.
  • Single-handed sheep shears or topiary shears for precisely clipping topiary and edging.
  • Secateurs for large leaved hedges, such as laurel, whose leaves would be left ragged by shears or hedge trimmers.
5. Caring for your garden

 Stopping and deadheading
 Clipping and trimming
 Tools for pruning
 How to prune spring flowering shrubs
 How to prune bush roses
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