Joe Newland: Hi! I am Joe Newland, Product Develop Manager for Black & Decker's Outdoor Products division. Today I am showing how to properly trim hedges and shrubs. To properly trim your hedges and shrubs, you'll need a hedge trimmer and possibly some pruning shears and hedge shears. It's also very important to read the instruction manual thoroughly for all lawn equipment before use and follow all the warnings and safety instructions. The hedge trimmer that you select should be of the appropriate blade length based on the size of your hedge.
Before you begin, place a tarp on the ground below the hedge, this makes cleanup much easier because all the excess trimmings will fall on the tarp, and it can be picked up all at once. With your work gloves and eye protection on, you are ready to get started. Start by trimming in the hedge at the lowest point and move it up carefully, trimming off all the growth that is above the string guide that you have created. If you're not working with a guide, simply visualize how you want the hedge to look. When you're finished and cut off as much as desired. As you are cutting back the hedge, keep in mind that it should be slightly broader at the base then at the top, this helps to sun light entering and hit all the branches and prevents the bottom from being shaded by the top.
Be sure not to cut too much, depending on the type of hedge you have, some do not fill back in where you have got. Move the trimmer a back and forth slowly against the hedge to make sure you trim all of the branches. Once you have all the excess cut above the strings, stand back several feet to look at the hedge. This will allow you to determine the places that need additional trimming, continue cutting back and keep your trimmings symmetrical and even.
For taller shrubs, use a pole trimmer that extends up to 10 feet. You can create a rounded or squared corner. To cut rounded corners, angle the trimmer in as you move it toward the top of the shrub. For squared corners, keep the trimmer perpendicular to the ground until you reach the top hedge. Then stop an angle the trimmer parallel to the ground across the top of the hedge. If there are a few branches that were missed by the hedge trimmer, you can use hand manual shears or hedge shears to trim them.
Once you have the shape you like, pull the tarp out from under the hedge and discard the trimmings, rake up any other trimmed pieces, if necessary.
By following these tips, you should have a beautifully manicured hedge or shrub.