Hedge trimming is one of the essential landscaping activities done twice or thrice a year. When spring or winter rolls around, you may find yourself asking a question most home-owners ask, “are there any hedge trimming services near me?”. That’s because hedge trimming is usually a manual job requiring some skill and a bit of time to complete.
Working with a hedge trimming service, of course, attracts additional costs. So, you may also want to debate between doing it yourself or getting someone to do it. Other things you might consider include things like the timing (best time to do hedge trimming), how to select a hedge trimming service etc.
Most hedge trimming services charge by the hour, but some will give a quote for the job.
The average hourly rate is $55 with the higher end of the spectrum being $75 per hour. In some cases, they also charge by the lineal foot. Prices for hedge trimming by the foot range from $5 right up to $45 depending on the height of the hedge.
Prices for hedge trimming by the hour
|Hedge trimming cost||1/hr||$35||$75|
|Job supply cost||50 sq. ft.||$5||$15|
|Average Hedge trimming cost||1.5 hrs||$50||$125|
Estimated avg. cost = $90
Prices for hedge trimming by height and length
Other hedge trimming services may include their price in with other work so they have a fixed price for it. Some hedge trimming services may charge a lower rate if they are also mowing or gardening for you. At the same time, the size, type of hedge (hawthorn, green beech, hornbeam, thorny hedges, etc.) may become a factor for pricing.
At the very least, you can budget for a $45 hourly rate, give or take, and be sure to have the hedge trimming contractor do a pre-contract inspection. You can also ask them to provide a catalog or price guide based on hedge sizes and other parameters they might be using.
Should I Use A Tree Service or Lawn/Garden Service?
Companies that take care of garden trees- otherwise known as arborists- usually deal with mature trees. They can help you uproot, prune, remove stumps, etc. On the other hand, lawn or garden services typically specialize in general landscaping care such as mowing, hedge trimming, gardening, mulching, etc.
With the above in mind, you should work with a lawn/garden service if you need your hedge trimmer as opposed to a tree service. Professional arborists are normally quite specialized and trained to take care of mature trees, and would, therefore, charge a premium for their services. Of course, you may need both if you have mature trees in your compound that need pruning or uprooting.
How Difficult Is DIY Hedge Trimming?
Hedge trimming is basically a manual job. Depending on the size of your hedge and tools at your disposal, it would take you hours outside trimming each shrub and plant to perfection. However, this is not to say that DIY hedge trimming is a bad idea as most people do like doing it even as a pastime.
Here are some of the tools you might need should you choose the DIY hedge trimming option:
- A ladder or footstool – height depends on how tall your hedge is
- Hedge shears – there are several types of shears depending on the size of plants, e.g. a rachet shear can be used for medium diameter branches.
- Pruning shears
- A hedging machine (hedgehog) – a motorized hedging device resembling a chainsaw used to trim branches and leaves off hedges. You can purchase your hedging machine or hire one when you need to trim your hedge.
- A Rake – And shovel for cleaning after pruning.
- Chain saw – if you need to trim big branches.
- Personal protective equipment – You’ll need to have, at the very least, a pair of protective mechanical gloves. You may also need a helmet, noise-canceling headphones, and safety boots depending on the specific conditions in the environment you will be working in.
As for the real job, it’s advisable to find out how the shrubs or trees in your edge fair with different cutbacks. As a rule of thumb, always ensure that you leave enough leafed branches to allow the hedge shrubs or tree to maintain their health. You can start from one side of the hedge to the other and try to be as consistent with the height and shaping as possible.
Why Do Hedges Look Dead in Spots After Trimming?
As expected, trimming branches or leaves off any plants causes unsightly dead spots. Any tree or shrub requires leaves and branches to survive and pruning it often causes a bit of drying or browning. However, this is only temporary, and the hedge will recover its health after some time.
That said, you should do trimming at the right time to allow the plants to recover. Early spring for some evergreen shrubs is the ideal time as they are not actively growing. Other techniques you may use to remove dead spots after trimming include:
- Removing dead branches
- Limiting cut back size while trimming
- Checking the soil for waterlogging and health
- Thinning dead center branches- a technique involving cutting a dead branch all the way to the stem.
How Often Should I Trim My Hedge?
Hedge trimming varies depending on the tree used for the hedge and how tidy you want the hedge to be.
It can be done once per month or longer in winter but should be done every 2 weeks in summer when trees grow faster.
|Plant/ tree||Spring/ Summer||Autumn/ winter|
|Conifer Laylandii||2 - 3 weeks||8 weeks|
|Ficus||4 weeks||6 weeks|
|Boxwood||3 weeks||8 weeks|
|European Beech||2 - 3 weeks||8 weeks|
|Laural||4 weeks||6 weeks|
|Red robin||4 weeks||10 weeks|
|Holly||3 Weeks||8 Weeks|
|Privet||4 Weeks||10 Weeks|
|Pittosporum||3 Weeks||8 Weeks|
Are Hand Hedgers Better Than A Hedging Machine?
No most of the time. Hedging machines eliminate the hard labor from hedge trimming with hand sheers and save you a lot of time. Most hedging machines are equipped with motorized cutting edges that you can use to trim any shrub branches or leaves. Compared to a hand hedger, a hedging machine will do a neater more uniform hedging job even when the person using it is not trained in hedge trimming.
That said, there are trimming jobs that don’t require a hedging machine. For instance, trimming a small shrub to the desired shape is best done using a hand edger.
Where Can I Hire A Hedging Machine?
There are probably several companies and hardware stores offering hedging machine rentals in your area. The best place to search for a hedging machine rental is through a Google search with the right local keyword. For instance, if you live in Fort Worth, TX, search for “hedging machine rental, Fort Worth” on Google.
What Is the Best Time of Year to Trim A Hedge?
In most countries with regular climate cycles, the best time to trim a hedge is around early spring or winter season. However, timing also depends on other factors, such as the type of fence.
Flowering hedges- Trim flowering hedges such as butterfly bush and camellia immediately after they are done flowering (mostly in the spring). Avoid trimming flowering hedges before they produce their flowers for obvious reasons.
Evergreen Hedges- Evergreen hedges can be trimmed at any time, depending on their size and aesthetic requirements. However, it is best to avoid non-maintenance trimming in the summer to prevent dead spots and excessive drying.
Who Pays If A Neighbor’s Hedge Is Over My Side of The Fence?
Trimming hedges separating two properties comes down to the relationship or arrangement you have with your neighbors. In most cases, you will pay for trimming the hedge on your side of the fence while the neighbor does the same for their side of the fence. However, if you have a dispute over an obstructive or overgrown hedge over your fence, you might consider these options:
- Talk to your neighbor and agree to split trimming costs
- Trim the overgrown hedge on your side of the fence at your own cost
- Report the issue to the local council or authorities
- Invoke the antisocial behavior act as a last resort
In most cases, you would want to come to an agreement with your neighbor regarding the cost of trimming shared hedges as required.