Joe Newland: Hi! I am Joe Newland, Product Develop Manager for Black & Decker's Outdoor Products division. Today I am showing you how to create a guide to trim formal hedges and shrubs. It's also very important to read the instruction manual thoroughly for all the law equipment before use and follow all the warnings and safety instructions.
Formal hedges are lines of closely spaced shrubs which form a barrier or mark the boundary of an area. To obtain exceptionally level hedges, a piece of string can be stretched along the length of the hedge as a guide. To create the guide, you'll need stakes that are taller than the hedge, and plenty of string to rope off the desired shape and size. Be sure to use brightly colored strings so that it does not blend in with the hedge. First, measure the hedge to determine the width and the height that you want. Next place the sticks in pairs on either side of the hedge at one yard intervals using a rubber mallet. Then, measure from the ground up to the desire height and tie one side of the string. Repeat this on the other side of the hedge, pulling the string tight. If the hedge is too long and the string sags in the middle, add another stick in the middle and cut in smaller sections; the goal is to have a smooth line from one side to the next.
Also if there are branches that are getting in the way of your string, simply take a pair of hand shears and cut the branch away. Once the strings are tied, you'll want to cut off all the excess growth that is above the string. To create a guide for the sides of your hedges, simply move the string down the stick to the desired line and cut the excess growth. Be careful not to cut the string when you are trimming so that you don't have to spend extra time to realign it. When you use a guide to cut your hedges and shrubs, they will all have straight lines and really add to the overall landscaping.