May is the best time of all to cut a mature hedge back, although many gardeners often wait until winter to complete their annual trim. At Sunshine Coast Mowers, we stock a huge range of gardening tools, both hand-held and electric, suitable for trimming all types of garden hedges.

Hand-held hedge shears are fine for smaller hedges, but for large hedges, we recommend an electric or petrol hedge trimmer. For most hedges, you can simple use long-handled loppers, as most smaller hedge trimmers can’t cut through the thick stems at the centre of the hedge and they’ll just fray the ends, leaving ragged fragments.

We recommend to start at one end of the hedge and work your way along, removing whole branches back to within six inches of trunks at the heart of the hedge. As you work, slope the hedge slightly inwards so it’s six or eight inches wider at the base than the top. This “batter”, as it’s known, allows more sunlight to reach the bottom of the hedge, encouraging new growth.

Remember, hedges that are trimmed annually produce the best result in appearance with a neat tidy finish. They also don’t tend to get too large and are much easier to maintain than if left for years untouched.

Tips to remember

  • Always start with the sides of the hedge and work your way along.
  • Makes sure you stop every now and again to make sure your line is nice and straight before continuing along. If this is your first attempt it can be a good idea to put up a string line to achieve the right line.
  • Once your sides are complete you can then start on the top. The top needs to be a little narrower than the bottom to allow light to the rest of the plant.
  • For best results trim regularly for a denser hedge

Hedging Tools

  • Hedge Trimmers - for removing or shortening branches
  • Chainsaws - for cutting down the main stems or removing side branches
  • Loppers and hand saws - for removing growths too large for a trimmer and too small to bother with a chainsaw
  • Secateurs - for fine pruning
  • Long Pole Hedge Trimmer - for reaching high up the sides of a hedge.