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Old 06-05-2018, 07:09 AM   #1
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How to trim bushes?


Need to trim bushes as they are going over the sidewalk too much. Not even sure what kind of bushes these are? Is a hedge trimmer the best way to trim? Please advise. Thank you!
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:15 AM   #2
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Re: How to trim bushes?


I know next to nothing about bushes. However, there was a segment on This Old House about that a few weeks ago. Maybe you can find it on pbs.org
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:25 AM   #3
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Re: How to trim bushes?


Electric or gas trimmer works well, but I have seen a few perfectionist horticulturalists ...that won't use them and use hand shears only. .

UTOOB good to watch also to learn the techniques used. Have to have a vision first, of the shape wanted. No do overs really once trimmed down, until they grow out again.......

Need to find what is the name of the bush and look up its best time of year to trim in your zone. (Box Elders, Yews, etc,) The bushes in the pic appear to have been trimmed to a globe fashion, so you may have to stick with that shape ...making 3 "balls" of hedges. Or start making the sloped upwards flat on top, wedged or boxed. Just have to remember to not cut back too aggressively, as all you will have is bare sticks showing.

So many people allow their hedges to grow for too long without trimming them. Then, when cut back to where they need to be for the right width or height, then they get a "stick" bush. Yours are at that point of yes, get them in shape soon. Good Luck. .
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: How to trim bushes?


I don't know what that shrub is, but I love it.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: How to trim bushes?


I have an electric hedge tirmmer and now I just need to shape it so it its not overgrown on the sidewalk.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:58 AM   #6
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Re: How to trim bushes?


I've seen home owners that make a wire cage that sits over the shrubs to define the shape and keep it consistent. Once shaped you can go back and take out selected branches that need to be removed.

From the little trimming I have done, they grow back fast.

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Old 06-05-2018, 07:59 AM   #7
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Re: How to trim bushes?


Quote:
Electric or gas trimmer works well, but I have seen a few perfectionist horticulturalists ...that won't use them and use hand shears only. .
That's what Roger Cook said on This Old House.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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Re: How to trim bushes?


Long time ago i read - the best time - to trim is about 6 months on the calendar after bloom time. I don't always follow that and do it when I feel like it if it's not very important plants and I have very few of those.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: How to trim bushes?


It's difficult to tell from the photo but it looks like a cedar or something similar, but it likely depends on what is native to your area. Best find out from a local nursery what the species is first. There are better times for different species but trimming at the wrong time of year is not usually damaging to an established bush, just not the most beneficial. One danger with some conifers is the growth is only at the end of the branches only, and if you get too aggressive you might stunt it and it might not come back. Other 'leafy' scrubs will send up shoots from the base. Look inside the bush, past the greenery, and you might find that it is quite bare.
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:43 AM   #10
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Re: How to trim bushes?


I agree that it looks like some type of cedar. If so, it is the wrong plant for the wrong place. It can grow higher than your house and wider than a car. They are meant for wide open spaces, not confined areas as you have. I, too, would take a sample to a nursery to have it positively identified. Hopefully I am wrong and it is a controllable shrub rather than the beginning of a large tree.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:44 AM   #11
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Re: How to trim bushes?


That is not hedge trimmer material if you want to keep the irregular shape. I had bushes similar to that around our porch. I used hand pruners to cut them back. It takes awhile so I took my time. Sat in a rocking chair on the porch, sized up the bush. Trimmed a little, rocked a little to assess shape, and trimmed a little more.
Did two bushes each night and was done in a week. The bush will let you know which branches need trimmed.

I saw the This Old House episode and good old Rodger was standing in front of a eight foot row or arborvitae hand pruning. NO WAY.I understand the concept to hand prune to promote interior growth, but for privacy stands of bushes, I am fine using hedge trimmers. But for smaller ornamental bushes, I will spend the time.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:36 AM   #12
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Re: How to trim bushes?


I like post #10....and if suitable for pruning, #11 is really good advice.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:53 AM   #13
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Re: How to trim bushes?


First off, you don't want to listen to my advice.

...Come to think of it, that's a good reason to keep my two cents to myself.

Never mind. Please disregard. Oh, heck, I've gone this far.

I don't like shrubs and bushes. Except rhodies and azaleas. All the rest, best pruning technique is my Stihl 029, straight across two inches above ground level. Quick, clean, one and done. And it saves time researching for plant genus and species.

...A Stihl just doesn't care.
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