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How To Trim Tall & Wide Hedges

How To Trim Tall & Wide Hedges

Keeping on top of tall and wide hedges can be challenging, even for professionals. From keeping your balance on top of a ladder, to struggling to reach across wide hedges or down tight spaces - maintenance is necessary, but is no easy task.

To help address these challenges and make the job easier, having the right equipment is a great start! The 520iHT4, 520iHE3 & 525HE4 Pole Hedge Trimmers are the perfect tools for the job, giving maximum flexibility without needing ladders or specialist tools. Ranging between 3.5m and 4.5m reach, large trimmer blades and angle-adjustable heads, no hedge is too tall or wide.

If you find yourself stuck when it comes to trimming tall or wide hedges, here are the best ways to get started.

How To Trim Tall Hedges

Tall hedges are very common as they provide privacy and often form part of the overall garden design. They often require a ladder to reach the top, so if you find yourself regularly needing to bring out the steps, then a pole hedge trimmer can save you time and effort, although you’ll need them for hedges exceeding 4.5m in height. Better yet, with both petrol and battery-powered hedge trimmers available to choose from, you can select a model that’s appropriate for you, whether that’s battery-power for built-up residential areas that call for something quiet, or raw petrol power for those more demanding tasks.

Trimming The Top

  1. Begin by extending the telescopic pole to the desired height, depending on the height of the hedge. Aim to be approximately 10cm below its current height for a tidy-up or lower if performing an intense cutback.
  2. Next, angle the cutting head so that it is at 90 degrees. This is for trimming along the top edge for a crisp and clean cut.
  3. Start at one end of the hedge and make your way along until you reach the other end. 
  4. As the hedge trimmer blades vary between 55 cm - 60 cm, working on the front first, then repeating on the rear side will cover a width of between 1.1m and 1.2m - more than enough for the average hedge width.

Trimming The Sides

  1. Re-adjust the trimmer head so that it is at around a 10-degree angle and the pole height is level with the top of the hedge.
  2. The further away from the hedge you stand, the more of an angle you’ll need for the trimmer head.
  3. Stand around half a metre away from the hedge and begin at one end.
  4. Work using a curved motion, sweeping down from top to bottom.
  5. Lastly, angle the trimmer head to 90 degrees and adjust the telescopic pole, so it is approximately 20 cm above the ground.
  6. Work your way along the base of the hedge, creating a crisp line as you go.


Using a Standard Hedge Trimmer

When using a standard hedge trimmer instead of a pole style, you’ll likely need to use ladders and even scaffolding to get to work. As the angle is fixed on the trimmer and your reach is limited, opt for a cable-free hedge trimmer to avoid any potential trips or cable cuts. As with a pole hedge trimmer, work your way from the top of the hedge down.

How To Trim Wide Hedges

While tall hedges can be wide, most wide hedges tend to be reasonably short in stature. Box is one of the most popular choices for low and wide hedges thanks to its dense foliage and use in topiary in more formal gardens. While ladders and planks are often used as scaffolding to work across wide hedges when using traditional hedge trimmers, pole hedge trimmers with an extendable reach are a great option to trim wider hedges while keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.

Reaching Across The Top

  1. Set the adjustable trimmer head so that it is at 0 degrees for achieving a flat top.
  2. Extend the telescopic pole so that it reaches across the hedge to the opposite side. If you have access all the way around the hedge, set the pole length to reach the centre of the hedge.
  3. Starting from the corner, work your way across from left to right at maximum reach - keeping the cutting blade level as you go.
  4. Adjust the hedge trimmer pole by reducing its length by approximately 50cm as you work your way toward the outer part of the hedge.
  5. By the time you reach the last swipe across, the pole hedge trimmer should be at minimum extension.


Trimming Down the Sides

  1. Once the top of the hedge is done, it’s time to take care of the sides. Keep the pole hedge trimmer unextended and the trimmer head at 0 degrees. 
  2. Begin in one corner and make an initial trim from one end to the other along the top to create a straight edge.
  3. Now working from the opposite end, use a sweeping downward motion from top to bottom. Continue all the way along until the sides are nice and straight.
  4. Lastly, set the trimmer head to 90 degrees and extend the pole so that it is around 20 cm above the ground. Work your way along the bottom of the hedge, going in approximately 10 cm -15 cm to create the perfect box finish.


How About Trimming Hard-To-Reach Hedges?

Sometimes, it’s not so much the hedge that’s the challenge, but its location. A Telescopic Hedge Trimmer makes it possible to reach hedges positioned behind:

  • Planted borders
  • Veggie gardens
  • Walls, fences and shrubs
  • Ponds and streams
  • Along roadsides
  • Farmland  

The 520iHE3 and 520iHT4 Battery Pole Hedge Trimmers feature a perfectly positioned battery to improve comfort and manoeuvrability while on the job. Being battery-powered, they also have reduced vibrations, lower noise output and zero direct emissions.

For those looking for a pole hedge trimmer to use daily with their greenspace or landscaping business, the 525HE4 petrol hedge trimmer provides maximum power and precision as the engine acts as a counterweight, providing more fluid movement.

Your Journey To Better Hedge Trimming

There’s a tool for every situation, with a wide variety of hedge trimmers available ranging from entry-level machines to professional use. When it comes to maintaining tall and wide hedges, pole hedge trimmers are the perfect choice for use around your backyard, or for landscaping professionals to improve output and precision while reducing the number of tools and accessories needing to be carried from property to property.


Ready to find your perfect match? View all of our hedge trimmers online today or visit your local Husqvarna dealer, who will talk you through your options.

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