Beech hedges can resemble unruly hair when not trimmed correctly. Trimming invigorates beech hedges, allowing more leaf and branch growth. A good trim also stops your hedge from looking shabby, ridding it of bald areas and cavities.
This article will discuss how to trim a beech hedge and the best time to do it.
How to Trim a Beech Hedge
Power tools always save time and energy, but they can be like a bull in a china shop. This is undoubtedly the case when attacking a beech hedge with a hedge trimmer. You’ll be left with leaves that have been sliced in two, which will then turn an ugly shade of brown. Not exactly the look you want for your beech hedge!
So pick up your hand pruners or garden shears instead. These will take longer to get the job done, but it’ll be done right! A string guide is the best way to go if you want crisp lines.
Begin at the top, then work your way down the sides, going right to the ground. A tapered shape gives beech hedges an attractive appearance and allows direct sunlight to touch all areas, not just the base.
If you decide against the tapered look, this can cause gappy hedges, as some areas won’t get enough rays. So when trimming, ensure the base is moderately wider than the top.
Target each shoot one by one. Perform an angled cut near the bud. This will encourage new growth and reduce the damage caused to plant cells.
Once you’re done trimming, don’t forget to tidy up! Otherwise, all those cut-off leaves will turn brown and mess up your hedge’s neat appearance!
When to Trim Beech Hedge
The best time to trim beech hedges is when summer begins to wane. The second week of August, to be precise (if you’re in the UK!). From this, your hedge will gain a profusion of new leaves which will stay in place throughout the cold winter months.
More frequent trimming can ensure a thick screen of leaves. But if trimming between March and July, watch out for birds’ nests! Early June seems to be the sweet spot.
If you’re looking to boost an immature beech hedge, trim the terminal growth buds off the shoots when you plant it. This will stimulate branch growth.
Continuing this process, trimming in winter, then again in August, will produce a well-established plant within 3 years. Once it’s established, August trimming is all it needs!
Trim for True Beauty!
Trimming your beech hedge in the wrong way or at the wrong time of year can leave it looking worse for wear. Only trim in mid-August for established plants, or again in June if you want a particularly dense look. Trim those buds to encourage newly-planted beech hedges to reach maturation quickly.
When trimming, always start at the top and finish at ground level. Giving your hedge a tapered appearance boosts sunlight exposure, and cutting at an angle will allow plant cells to heal swiftly. Then clear up after yourself!