Have you recently noticed your hedges becoming too long and untidy? If that’s the case, then they probably need a trim. Once you’ve decided that’s what needs doing, you could either hire a gardener or do it yourself. It’s normally a good idea to do this sort of work yourself if you can, as it’ll cost far less over time and you won’t have to wait as long. If you do decide that you need to cut your hedges yourself, you’ll need a hedge trimmer!
But what if you don’t know how to use a hedge trimmer? If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place. This is the article for you. In it, we’re going to look a bit more closely into the issue of hedge trimmers and tell you exactly what you need to know if you want to get hold of a new trimmer and start cutting your own hedges with excellent results. So let’s get started on how to use a hedge trimmer.
Purchase the right hedge trimmer
Before you can start learning to use your hedge trimmer, you’ll need to get your hands on one! This shouldn’t be too difficult, as they are readily available at a range of different prices both online and in your local hardware stores. If you don’t want to buy one, you could rent one from a hardware rental store as and when you need—but this will kind of defeat the point of having your own hedge trimmer.
Check a few reviews online before you buy for the sort of hedge trimmer you want. Some will have extra features like extendable supports and be able to trim different length hedges. You’ll also want to look at whether they are battery powered of must be plugged into the mains. Mains powered trimmers can be much more powerful and won’t need recharging, which makes them more convenient in some ways, but less in others. Obviously, you’ll have to stay near a mains power supply and make sure you don’t get caught up in the cable. Battery-powered trimmers can be more convenient because you won’t have to deal with a cable and can take them where you want and when you want. The battery units for these sort of trimmers are improving all the time as well.
Assemble the hedge trimmer
The next step after buying your trimmer is to assemble it. You should find the instructions on how to do this with the unit itself. Make sure you follow them carefully. If you bought your trimmer second-hand, it might already be assembled or you might be able to find instructions online.
Check safety instructions
Make sure you keep safety as your number one concern when using a hedge trimmer. They are powerful pieces of hardware and are unsafe if not used properly. Never do something you aren’t sure you can do safely, keep supervised and make sure you’ve got the strength to use the trimmer carefully.
Wear the right protective gear
Another safety precaution you need to take is to wear the right protective gear. This includes goggles and strong gloves.
Check the power supply
Make sure you’ve got a power supply to your trimmer. So if it’s mains operated, you might have to look at extension cables. Make sure you keep the cables out of the way and in a safe place when doing the trimming. If you have a battery-operated trimmer, then make sure the battery is fully charged and has plenty of power.
Check the weather
You can’t trim a hedge if it’s raining, or if it looks like it might do soon. So check the weather forecast, you don’t want it to start raining in the middle of the job, causing problems with the hardware, as well as making it unsafe. Even worse, you definitely don’t want to be doing this sort of work when a thunderstorm starts. Never trim when you think lightning could be likely.
Make sure you can access the hedge safely
If the hedge has a lot of height, you need to be extra careful. Ladders and extensions might be necessary, but only if you’re completely safe and steady when using them.
Make sure the hedge isn’t too long and has been pre-trimmed
Hedge trimmers are called trimmers because they’re mainly for trimming. If your branches are too long, they might need cutting individually with shears or other equipment. Stronger branches could even need sawing. Only do this if you know what you’re doing, or if someone else can help you.
Check the hedge for bird’s nests or other wildlife
You don’t want to start using this high-powered machinery and disrupt or destroy a bird’s nest or some other wildlife.
Have a test trim
Make sure the trimmer is working by cutting a small amount first, before taking on the rest of the job.
Have someone help you if necessary
This isn’t always a one-person job, so make sure you’ve got someone with you to help clear cables, move branches and keep your steady and safe at all times.
Cut the hedge slowly and methodically
Don’t just randomly start trimming different parts of the hedge without any real direction. Start at one end at the top and work methodically and downwards—so you don’t miss anything.
Trim the hedge regularly
To save with problems trying to trim branches that are too long or strong, or to minimise issues caused by hedges that are too high, it’s a good idea to trim them often. Now you know how to use your trimmer safely, this shouldn’t be as daunting a task as you might previously have thought. Now you know how to trim your own hedge, you can keep them all in order as well as help out your neighbours.