When should I cut my hedges?
Hedges have started to grow quite quick right now and are looking very untidy so they should be cut now right? Wrong!
Birds are currently nesting and many can be found in hedges, no matter what type, throughout the country. It is actually illegal to cut a hedge if birds are nesting and you can be fined quite substantially, if caught. Worse can happen if you instruct your gardener to cut it for you as you both receive a fine!
Spring growth on most hedges will continue for another 2 -3 weeks and then slow suddenly. By mid/end June birds will have left their nests and growth will have slowed so that is the time to consider cutting your hedge.
For any major works on your hedge you are too late. Major reshaping of the very high majority of hedges should have taken place over the winter period. If you need your hedge reshaping or reducing drastically plan forward now. In most cases, you will be better to have a professional carry out any reshaping or reductions as they know exactly what can and should be done to avoid killing the hedge.
For a summer tidy of your hedge again you may find it useful to have a professional look at it and give you a price as it may be more affordable than you think! If doing yourself always cut upwards, as if gives a far cleaner cut with most hedge cutters, and if necessary finish the odd strands with a pair of secateurs. So, the usual time to cut most hedges is July/August and January/February, most years, although it does depend somewhat on the weather.
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