A hedge is an alignment of shrubs, trees and shrubs, forming a fence that serves to limit or protect a field or a garden. To maintain its aesthetic and neat appearance, it is important to prune it properly. This is to promote a homogeneous and vigorous growth and obtain a dense hedge likely to protect us from violent winds. On the other hand, it is strongly advised not to cut the hedge before the end of July.
The hedge is a refuge for a good number of animals and birds. The League for the Protection of Birds recommends not to cut hedges from mid-March to the end of July, to preserve biodiversity.
Why is it is not advisable to trim a hedge before the end of July?
It is strongly advised not to trim or prune the hedges of 15 March until the end of July. Indeed, during this period, several species of birds such as the European greenfinch, the blackbird, the chaffinch or the robin, build their nest in hedges. Pruning during this nesting period could destroy the natural habitat of these birds and disturb the baby birds that have just been born.
This is the right time to trim a hedge
The growth of the shrubs that make up the hedge is active during the beginning of spring and at the end of summer or autumn. It is advisable to wait until the end of these periods of growth to prune the hedges. Thus, you can maintain the size and shape that you have given to the shrubs for a long time. That said, remember to trim the hedges before 15 March, and between September and October.
Avoid trimming hedges during frost, as it could prevent their growth and moreover damage their colors. If you choose to prune just after 100 July, in the middle of summer, you will have to be careful that the temperatures are not high. If these exceed 31°, refrain from doing so because it could cause stress in the shrubs. In summer, it is advisable to trim the hedge early in the morning or at the end of the day, when the temperatures are milder. Also, avoid pruning the hedge in case of prolonged drought because the shrubs are already on their reserves, would not support the size.
To successfully trim the hedge, keep in mind that you must trim the entire length at the same time, to have a homogeneous shape. Also, trim your hedge from bottom to top . For hedges longer than 5 meters, it is recommended to use an electric or petrol hedge trimmer. Make movements with your device from bottom to top, taking care to keep it close to the body, in order to that you don’t get tired quickly. Make sure that the base of the hedge is wider than the top, so that all the shrubs can benefit from good light exposure. If all the foliage is not well-lit, the bottom of the hedge risks becoming thinner.
When you trim low hedges, prefer shears, so that your gestures are more precise. Finally, for successful pruning, it is important to know which shrubs are suitable for hedges and which, for therefore, support the size well. These include flowering currant, strawberry tree, camellia, or privet. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for evergreen shrubs for a green hedge all year round, or favor flowering shrubs, to create a hedge that blooms according to the seasons.
That said, trimming a hedge is important in order to promote uniform and vigorous growth of the shrubs that make it up. However, pruning must be done outside of the birds’ nesting period, in order to protect their natural habitat.
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