View Full Version : Spiral Hedges
05-18-2010, 12:14 AM
I am not new so dont make an argument out of this. Any how I have a long term customer whop would like me to trim his 2 shrubs. I do trim hedges but stay away from the ones that are shaped, Is their a secrete to trimming these, he wants me to do them at any cost but I have never done these. Thanks
The pic I included is just a pic off google but the same concept
05-18-2010, 12:30 AM
I've only got a few that want spirals. Not too bad to maintain once you have them spiraled-up, but for someone that wants me to turn a non-spiral into a spiral I'll pass. I use hand pruners to clean the exposed trunk areas up prior to shaping up the spiral. Gives me a better line on what to take off and what to keep... otherwise going in full-bore with your hedge trimmers you might end up nicking off some of the main branches that are part of the spiral hedge. Then you end up with, at best, a bald spot in the spiral or at worst, a big chunk of the spiral missing that ends up taking months or a full season to grow back (and a pi$$ed off customer).
05-18-2010, 09:35 AM
what kind (name) of hedge is that. I would like to get some and put in my yard.
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05-18-2010, 05:50 PM
felcos and lots of time is the only way to get them shaped up really well. we had a customer wanting us to to do it on a job and kinda backed away from it because we didnt feel like we could do it right.
spiral juniper or spiral boxwood is what most people use.
05-18-2010, 06:07 PM
Most common spirals around here are alberta spruce. Most others are juniper variety. Like mentioned you prune the trunk first and then trim the growth with small hand shears. If you keep up on it they never get real bad. Remember it takes years to form these proper so dont ever let a customer think you can just turn her 10 year old boxwood into a topiary overnight.
05-18-2010, 09:40 PM
I found spirals were acutally pretty easy just take your time to you don't take a chunk out.
05-19-2010, 08:04 PM
Topiaries are real time consuming as we trim quite a few. We use the felco hand pruning shears and keep some alcohol around for frequent cleaning of the blades. The resin will make things more difficult. Following the contours is the real secret and never-ever allow the customer to let them outgrow the shape. We do ours once a month or as needed otherwise the shape is compromised and yellowing will occur underneath the foliage.
A dwarf Alberta Spruce similar to the one in your photo will take at least an hour to hand shape, so bid yourself accordingly. These types of shrubs aren't for the lazy Lowe's customer who wants them nice and don't want the expense of upkeep. We do clouding and other twisting shrubs too. It is all time and time is money.
Experience is the only thing that you will earn from trimming shrubs. Doing the easy shrubbery is child's play, so don't cut yourself short and learn all you can because a experienced person with shears and trimmers is worth the money. Setting yourself apart from the other competition is a great advantage.
05-19-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks for the great advise think green, this has been a great customer of mine, im gonna go for it and take my time. I bidded the job for 4 hours so we will see how it goes
05-20-2010, 12:59 AM
We like using sheep shears for those. They are a little hard to find but they are about as big as you can get in there and very sharp and the motion is more natural for me.
06-26-2010, 02:19 PM
You can screw up a spiral real quick!!!! I trim all my customers spirals with my Stihl HL-100.You can stand k and view what you are doing.Start from the bottom up and trim like you would any other pyramid shrub then very carefully start the inside curls.Now I am speaking of trimming juniper spirals.Take a back pack blower and carefully blow out the dead foliage but be very careful not to distort the true shape.Like the other lads said use your hand pruners to clean up the trunk as well as some dead or unwanted branches.
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