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How to Trim Your Shrubs, Hedges and Trees

Most plants go dormant during the winter time which makes it the perfect time of year to trim and prune your shrubs, hedges and trees. Pruning during the winter months promotes fast regrowth during the spring. It also much easier to shape plants when they do not have foliage.

Some of the benefits of pruning include:

  • Removal of dead stems and branches
  • Removal of diseased parts of the plant
  • Remove damaged areas
  • More appealing shape to the plant
  • Promotes health
  • Prevents undesired growth

Here are some tools that might make the job a little easier:

If your interested in any of these tools, what the different models mean, and how they can help you, visit your local Hutson Inc store. We're an authorized STIHL dealer and have been trained to be experts on the products.

Trimming Trees and Shrubs

Step 1

To make clean up a little easier for you, lay a tarp around the area that you are going to be trimming around. This will prevent you from having to rake all of your debris out.

Step 2

Now it's time to remove growth that you don't want. This is the time to mold the plant to fit the shape that you desire. This is great time to remove suckers which can appear at the base of the trunk or on branches. The "suckers" are actually sucking nutrients away from your shrub, hedge or tree. This lack of nutrients can prevent growth in areas, taking away from the aesthetics of your plants.

Step 3

Now that your plant has it's shape, it's time to remove any dead or damage limbs. Start at the bottom and move your way up.

Hedge Trimming

Hedges such as a boxwood can be shaped into more formal looks like a privacy wall. They can be trimmed in a round manner or a boxed manner.

Step 1

One of the most important aspects of trimming hedges is getting a straight, level cut on top. One trick is to follow the mortar lines if you have a brick out or the lines on the siding if you have a vinyl house. If this isn't an option, some professionals set up strings on stakes to help create a guide. Use a level if you want perfection.

Step 2

Time to get cutting. You're going to want to grab your hedge trimmer. Depending if you are heavy user or just occasional, there are gas and battery powered options to better suit your needs. Slowly run your hedge trimmer along the top and the sides until smooth and even. A tip from the pros is to step back and check your work to make sure you're running a straight line.

Additional Tips

  • If you have tall shrub or trees, you may want to invest in a extend reach trimmer or saw. These allow you to reach area safely without a cherry picker or ladder.
  • When trimming up overgrown, mature plants, start with the thickest branches. Cut them back to the base of the plant.
  • Hand pruners can be useful for tight areas and small branches.

Need help finding the right trimming tools? Give Hutson Inc a call or visit one of our 12 locations and we'll help you get started.