How to Trim Bushes with a Hedge Trimmer

Trim Bushes

Hedges and bushes are very underrated when it comes to landscaping plants. Most of them are always green and easy to maintain. Thanks to this, they give an attractive element to your backyard or garden. They’re also great in creating a natural border between you and your neighbors.

Your bushes have to be regularly trimmed to look good. A well maintained landscape can even raise the value of your home. In the beginning, it might be challenging to trim your hedge, but once you get the idea, the whole process is pretty straightforward. Follow this guide to learn how to cut your bushes in an ideal shape.

Types of Hedge Trimmers

There are three main options when it comes to mechanical bush trimmers: gas/petrol, electric with cord, and cordless powered by batteries. You can choose each of them in different sizes and the length of the cutting bar.

The powered with batteries option is usually the cheapest one, yet it might not be enough if you have a big garden and a lot of bushes to trim. The one with the cord is stronger, yet it creates more considerable danger. The gas one is the heaviest, but it also can cut with bigger power.

Before buying a trimmer, you should consider what you are going to use it for. Your choice should depend on multiple factors, including the location of the hedge on the property, costs, size of the bushes, and so on.

Safety Concerns

Once you catch the flow, hedge trimmers are easy to use. Trimming a hedge can also be a lot of fun. However, you must remember that those tools are potentially dangerous.

Being careful is critical for your safety while using a trimmer. Never hold a branch with one hand while trying to trim it with the other. Always keep both hands on the trimmer to avoid a tragic accident.

Before starting the work, you should clear the area around you. Verify if there are no hoses or wires that you could cut while trimming the bush. If you have pets or kids in the house, always make sure that they keep away from the area where you work with a trimmer.

In case you use an electric trimmer that requires an extension lead, always remember the extension cord to prevent tripping over it. Always wear protective gear. Even if you want to cut just one branch, wear eye goggles, hearing protection, gloves, and long pants and shirts.

How to Trim Bushes

Always remember to trim your bushes from the bottom to the top. Be patient, and move slowly but steadily. The blades are going to do the work if you let them.

On your first pass, avoid cutting deep into the hedge. This way, you avoid lopping off too many branches. You may need to repeat the shallow passes a few times, starting again from the bottom and working your way up.

You also have to take care of the sides of the hedge. If your bush is not an ideal square, you have to trim it at an angle. This way, you can shape it by keeping it wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. It’s not only for aesthetic reasons but also to allow sunlight to reach the root system.

Cutting the top of the hedge or bushes can be challenging if you want to keep them on the same level. However, you can use a nylon line stretched between two wooden stakes to mark the level of the hedge.

After trimming your bushes, have an additional look into the shrub to check if there are any diseased or dead branches. If you notice them, cut them manually.

If your bushes are very tall, you might consider renting or buying an extended-reach hedge trimmer. It is a trimmer that is attached to an adjustable bar. Thanks to this, you can avoid the danger of standing on a ladder while trimming.

Pro Tips

If you have a more formal hedge, you might need to trim it around four times a year. If you have a hedge that has a more natural shape requires trimming once a year.

Avoid trimming bushes in the early spring. You can cut flower buds and scare birds that could be nesting there.

Try to trim your bushes when the sun is not intense, for example, in the late afternoon or in the early morning. This way, the sun is not going to scorch the cut ends.


The first time you use your trimmer, you might feel a bit awkward. However, you can be sure that with a little bit of practice, you can master trimming.

In less than an hour, you are going to feel more comfortable with how the trimmer feels in your hands. The most important thing is to be patient. You can even treat it as a meditative, leisure moment that you spend with nature.

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Oren Ratzon

Oren Ratzon

I love nature very much and it is important for me to cultivate it.

So welcome to my passion