A hedge in your honor

Depending on the function assigned to it (insulate, shelter from the wind or noise, decorate, etc.), a hedge is made up of evergreen (green all year round) or semi-evergreen species, flowering shrubs, or even small fruit trees, whose shape and vegetative cycle determine when to prune.

Pruning causes new branches to appear and stimulates their growth. But it should not be done at any time: the gardener’s calendar must be regulated by the life of the plants. A regular hedge made up of evergreen shrubs (aucuba, cotoneaster, eleagnus, euonymus, holly, cherry laurel, tin laurel, bay laurel, privet, cedar, etc.), shaped with a line using a hedge trimmer or shears , is cut at the beginning of spring and towards the end of summer because the vegetation becomes active in spring (« the heat of May greens the hedge ») and in August-September: at these periods, the plants heal better and know rapid regrowth. Avoid pruning between mid-March and the end of July.

Fight against drought

Adopt the same calendar if the hedge has berry shrubs (hawthorn, cotoneaster, holly, elderberry, mountain ash, etc.), because they are the pantry and the refuge of the birds for which it is the nesting period. .

If the hedge, which is freer, has flowering shrubs, they must be pruned according to the time of their flowering: just after for those which flower in spring (barbery, forsythia, Japanese quince, prunus, sarcococca, mock orange, etc.), because the flowers of the following year will appear on the branches that will form after pruning; in autumn or in February-March for those that flower in summer (althea, buddleia, ceanothe, St. John’s wort, escallonia, lagerstroemia, etc.).

Another benefit of pruning: combating drought. By limiting the volume of foliage, the pruning of shrubs has the effect of reducing plant transpiration. With a double interest: helping plants resist dehydration in times of drought and limiting watering. Be careful, not all shrubs support this operation. For example, on rhododendrons and azaleas, you just have to remove the faded flowers.

How to trim a regular hedge in 5 steps

  1. Spread a tarp at the foot of the hedge to collect plant waste.
  2. With the hedge trimmer, start by cutting the sides vertically, from bottom to top. Keep the base of the hedge a little wider than the top to keep it well lit.
  3. Stretch a line between two stakes to adjust the height of the horizontal waist.
  4. Prune with the help of the line and by regularly moving the hedge trimmer. Take the necessary precautions when using a ladder.
  5. Bring pruning shears and a lopper for the finishing touches and the removal of the largest branches.


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