Why and when prune hedges?

We'll help you keep your hedge looking tidy to create a smart boundary to your garden. Hedges that are left unchecked will soon look scruffy. They can lose their shape and  can become unmanageable, especially if it's a leylandii hedge.

They can also put flowers into shade and inhibit their growth. By letting us create a pruning schedule we'll ensure your hedge is kept in control without too much harm to your pocket. You can sit overlooking your lawn sipping on something cold whilst we do the work. Perfect!

We like to trim formal hedges two or three times a year, while they're still actively growing.

With conifer hedges we tend to give them one or two prunes towards the end of the growiing season. What's crucial with these hedges is that they don't grow too high. Whilst they're often used for privacy or noise reduction, when height helps, if they get too big they can become impossible, and a nuisance to neighbours.

With informal hedges we tend to prune depending on when they flower. Those plants that flower on this year's wood ( Lavender, fuchsia, roses )we tend to prune in early to mid-spring. With those that flower on old wood (the likes of berberis or forsythia) we tend to prune when the blooms fade. When we call round rto discuss your needs we'll advise on the frequency and timing of the pruning.

Got the right tools?

We'll come prepared with both hand shears for  smaller shorter hedges as well as our powered shears for longer hedges.

I'm afraid Health and Safety means that we'll need to make sure that if we're using our electric cutters that you have a safety socket fitted with a residual current device or circuit breaker.

It will make light work of the job and won't leave you with tired arms. Keep hand shears sharpened and let the tool do the job it was designed for, rather than trying to hack away with blunt blades. For some reason or other we do get a few people asking whether we're 'fully insured', but don't worry we'll make sure we wear the appropriate gear!

Different hedges, different approaches

Dwarf hedges

We tend to keep these low growing hedges used for  parterres (not that we get many of these in Cumbria), knot gardens (and even fewer of these!) or as borders around vegetable beds neat by trimming them twice a year. With box, lavender, rosemary, and germander hedges we tend to trim them twice a year in spring and then again in mid-summer.

Formal hedges

We'll ensure that we get a nice flat top and flat tapering sides so that your hedge looks as good as it can. By taking care to get the details right, for example ensuring straight lines with the use of taut string for a dead stright line, we'll provide you awith a trimmed hedge that will be the envy of your neighbours.

And don't worry! Once we've finished we'll clear off any cuttiings from the top of the hedge as well as from the sides and bottom so that you're not left with the tidying up! We can also make sure that the hedge is properly fed.

Informal hedges

IIt has to be said that some people make the mistake of planting or taking over an informal hedge and thinking they can just leave it to run riot. Well, you can. But. An informal hedge that is left alone will soon lose all its shape,,and quite frankly, start to look a mess. And again, with conifers such as leylandii it's essential that they're kept to a reasonable height. By this is meant a height that suits your purpose an is still capabale of being trimmed, with the use of ladders, extendable pruners etc. Whilst your privacy is important it's essential that these hedges don't grow too tall especially if they're near to overhead telephone cables, or in danger of damaging other people's property or taking away their light. We have, on more than one occasion, ended up in the middle of a dispute between neighbours and we try to avoid that!


We try to make sure that after we've trimmed your hedge it's given a good feed and watering. We'll also try to advise if we think we're being asked to either over prune or prune at the wrong time of the year! Doing either of these things (over-pruning or pruning at tyhe wrong time of the year, can easily damage a gehdge and that damage may not be noticeable at first . We not only have a reputation to keep, but we also want to stay in busiiness!

Hedging plants to try


  • Berberis - dense, thorny and tough hedge, with flowers in spring and berries in autumn
  • Deutzia - ornamental white or pink flowers
  • Forsythia - brilliant yellow flowers in spring
  • Lavender- fragrant low borders


  • Box - classic topiary hedging
  • Cherry Laurel - up to 6m high with glossy leaves
  • Conifers - match the variety you choose with the height of the hedge you want
  • Privet - hardwearing, moderately fast-growing hedge