There are many different varieties of hedge but the theory remains the same. Establish your shapes and contours early on in the hedges development and maintain these same designs through its lifetime.
The majority of hedges in our area (Georgina) are cedar. Other traditional hedge types include:
When setting up your hedge there are a few things to keep in mind. Its better to take too little off when cutting as you can’t put it back on and cutting too deeply and gouging into the wood will create undesirable brown spots. It is better to round out the top of your hedge then to make it perfectly flat as this will help it shed snow avoiding potential shearing and broken branches.
It is imperative that the bottom of the hedge is thicker in width than the top and tapers upwards, never the other way. While your hedge can be shaped in very artistic ways it is still a living thing and has requirements, especially in terms of sunlight. A well shaped hedge allows sunlight to hit the entirety of its surface as such tapering the hedge top down is very important.
The rule of thumb is to cut twice. Cut the hedge in a way that takes off the most vigorous growth then take a rake and gently bang out the cut pieces, going up and down the hedge across its entire length. These bits will brown up in time and make your hedge look unkempt and disorderly. Following the first cut you will see a notable difference in how tight the hedge looks. To help picture what we mean by tightness consider it like given your hedge a haircut. Were looking for a neat buzz cut not a shaggy unkempt look. With a careful second cut we can safely carve this down a little bit further making the hedge tighter again still. This second cut is the stage that gives the hedge its clean crisp and professional look.
Note: hedges should be trimmed at least once a year any time after July but before freeing temperatures. Leaving the hedges for a year will leave you with a less dense product when you are finished as the plants production goes to its leaders rather than its side. Talk to Georgina Garden Centre about best practices if you desire to change the shape of your hedge.
Use string lines when setting the initial shape of the hedge to ensure its lines are straight and linear.