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Leggy, woody, scraggly, spindly, yellowish, unkempt, and unsightly. No, it’s not roll call for the cast of some dozing-princess fairy story. If you’re like most people, it’s the perfect description for that sad-looking hedge bordering your yard.
Rows of thickly planted shrubs can be a handsome way to define borders and boundary lines, keep children and pets in (or out), and give birds shelter and even food. But like all shrubs, hedges need regular watering, feeding, and pruning to look their best.
Shrubs, bushes and hedges are arguably the most underrated and undervalued of all landscaping plants. They possess a natural beauty that can enhance the curb appeal of your home, while providing an attractive complement to lawns, trees, gardens and hardscapes, such as walks, patios and stonewalls.
Many types of shrubs and bushes can be grown into a privacy screen, windbreak or living “fence” along a boundary line. Most varieties stay green and vibrant all year. Shrubs, bushes and hedges can even increase the resale value of your home, but only if they’re well maintained and neatly trimmed.
Badly overgrown, misshapen and unkempt shrubs and bushes will have a negative impact on the appearance and value of your home.
Maintenance trimming refers to tidying up a hedge or shrub by cutting back on overgrown branches. While pruning focuses on the hedge’s health and the safety of its surroundings, trimming is done mainly for aesthetic purposes. Yet, excessive overgrowth can also be harmful to your hedge as it can reduce the amount of light and moisture it receives, stuttering its growth. Therefore trimming is just as important as pruning.
Maintenance trimming is usually carried out once a year for informal hedges and twice for formal ones. However, there are certain hedges which might require three cuts a year. If you’re wondering when to trim your hedges, it’s usually done sometime between spring and summer.