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View Full Version : First Hedge Job critique please


sms8921
05-29-2011, 05:57 PM
Just finished my first hedge job. This is on a yard that I just started maintaining this year. Had a few of my customers ask if I do hedges so I decided to diversify. Let me know what you guys think. I used my new shindiawa trimmers also! It ended up being a good saturday job for me and the wife.(not all hedges trimmed are shown in pics) Stripes are courtesy of a 99 John deere Hd45 hydro walk behind. Thanks for looking!

Before
http://i55.tinypic.com/xdbitg.jpghttp://i52.tinypic.com/2vk0whe.jpg

After
http://i53.tinypic.com/fa7ytg.jpghttp://i52.tinypic.com/iy3ewp.jpghttp://i55.tinypic.com/vqp9n7.jpg

jason72g
05-29-2011, 06:01 PM
Wow! Looks great! What kind of maintenance do you perform on your hedge trimmers blades?
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Raymond S.
05-29-2011, 06:02 PM
Looks good especially for your first job. Only thing I could critique is that you could be a little more aggressive. Could just be my phone (hard to see pics) but it looks like the bushes have a little more growing to do. When they finish up you'll need to go back and hit them again (sprouts.) I have customers that get their bushes trimmed monthly and I have some that want them cut heavy so we don't have to come back again. All depends on what they want. Good job though. Oh and be prepared, it may be the only compliment you get on this site :)
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93Chevy
05-29-2011, 06:03 PM
Wow! Looks great! What kind of maintenance do you perform on your hedge trimmers blades?
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I doubt any...they're brand new :laugh:

Looks good by the way...better than my first hedge job.

93Chevy
05-29-2011, 06:05 PM
Holy crap, I looked at the pics again and that house looked like a typical Western PA home...then I realized your location was Butler. I'm down in Mars :waving:

Feel free to say hi on the Western PA Landscapers Networking thread, link's in my sig.

ashgrove landscaping
05-29-2011, 09:21 PM
looks awesome man....

mdlwn1
05-30-2011, 08:00 AM
Be careful not to create the V shaped shrub. Nature makes them gumdrop shaped on purpose. The taxus at the front door...try not to let the tops get wider than the bottom as this will "tell" the plant to stop growing down low...creating the V that you see everywhere.

sms8921
05-30-2011, 03:21 PM
Thanks mdlwn i app. The advice i def. See what you mean i will try to keep them more vertical instead of v shaped next trim job thanks everyone for the replies!
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weeze
05-30-2011, 04:47 PM
looks great...i always cut the bottom branches inward at the bottom near the ground...makes it easier to trim around them and mulch or whatever and it just looks better.

mdlwn1
05-30-2011, 07:03 PM
looks great...i always cut the bottom branches inward at the bottom near the ground...makes it easier to trim around them and mulch or whatever and it just looks better.

Maybe in your eyes..just keep in mind that every book, university, horticultural expert or ANY true landscape professional disagrees with you. Reminds me of the baggy prison look...who would have thought that the worst role models on earth would influence style among the undereducated.

bobcat48
05-30-2011, 08:16 PM
Looks great,nice job there!

White Gardens
05-30-2011, 09:00 PM
My only suggestions would be to cut the set of bushes in the first pick with the top being level with the house.

Just use brick/siding lines to visually get any shrubs level that might need it.

Otherwise it looks good. Thumbs Up

Patriot Services
05-30-2011, 09:13 PM
Wow! Looks great! What kind of maintenance do you perform on your hedge trimmers blades?
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Fluid film keeps the blades clean and sap free. Won't harm plants.
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McG_Landscaping
05-30-2011, 09:31 PM
Looks good! But the hedges on the left could be taken down a bit more! They tend to grow back pretty fast and will look scraggly in a few weeks. Overall, GREAT job for your first time!

sms8921
05-31-2011, 11:00 AM
thanks I was going to keep the front hedges level with the house but the ground has more of a slope than it looks in the pic and I thought it might look funny. Being the bush is thicker on one end than the other.

Km81
05-31-2011, 02:59 PM
looks great...i always cut the bottom branches inward at the bottom near the ground...makes it easier to trim around them and mulch or whatever and it just looks better.

That is what causes the bottom quarter of shrubs to look thin and stop growing. Big no no

White Gardens
05-31-2011, 09:08 PM
thanks I was going to keep the front hedges level with the house but the ground has more of a slope than it looks in the pic and I thought it might look funny. Being the bush is thicker on one end than the other.

I know, that's the trade-off. I personally feel (just my opinion) that cutting them level on-top ends up looking better than not. It just seems like the bush is sliding down-hill when cut in the manner you did.

Even the the shrub would unbalanced weight wise, the level top seems cleaner.

McClanahan73
05-31-2011, 10:50 PM
Looks good, nice job on the feet. So many people trim nicely but leave to much underneath. No barberry bushes? Lucky you!

Patriot Services
06-01-2011, 08:20 AM
Personally I would have cut the top into a step shape. Proper pruning does dictate not trimming the undersides. However you have to please the customer. I explain that it will shorten the lifespan of the plant. Remember every plant will eventually outgrow itself and need to be replaced to maintain relatived sizing with its surroundings.
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mdlwn1
06-01-2011, 09:45 AM
Personally I would have cut the top into a step shape. Proper pruning does dictate not trimming the undersides. However you have to please the customer. I explain that it will shorten the lifespan of the plant. Remember every plant will eventually outgrow itself and need to be replaced to maintain relatived sizing with its surroundings.
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Only if it's not maintained properly. You can keep just about anything within limits. I have hand pruned azaleas that occupy a 2' x2' area each...7 years now...I could go on and on. One only needs to look at a 140 year old bonzi tree to know that just about anything can be kept within limits.

Patriot Services
06-01-2011, 02:10 PM
Only if it's not maintained properly. You can keep just about anything within limits. I have hand pruned azaleas that occupy a 2' x2' area each...7 years now...I could go on and on. One only needs to look at a 140 year old bonzi tree to know that just about anything can be kept within limits.

Viburnum.
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Plantculture
06-01-2011, 04:23 PM
Heres my .02
I would work on getting the hedge level with the windows.
as others have said its best for them to be full to the bottom. Sort of like how a top to a hamburger bun is. Your mounds are lopsided all over the place. I would start to fix that by breaking out the good ole felcos and start thinning them abit. Then they will be easier to shape. If you still have a hard time, put down the machine and use some good sheers and take your time.

sms8921
06-01-2011, 10:07 PM
Yea the round bushes were difficult. Some spots I couldn't trim any farther, I was getting into the actual branch with no foliage. I am a rook at hedges so how do I combat that when I run into it? Thx!
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Plantculture
06-02-2011, 07:06 AM
Yea the round bushes were difficult. Some spots I couldn't trim any farther, I was getting into the actual branch with no foliage. I am a rook at hedges so how do I combat that when I run into it? Thx!
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You reach into the shrub and cut the branch, preferably back to a lateral.

Green Industry Pro
06-02-2011, 10:04 PM
Amazing job. You lied to us all..this wasn't your first hedge trimming job, it was celebrating your 100th :D:usflag::usflag:


GOB BLESS AMERICA

jwsland
06-03-2011, 11:53 PM
Nice job. Glad I didn't see a hack job when I clicked on it!

QLM
06-04-2011, 12:20 AM
Only if it's not maintained properly. You can keep just about anything within limits. I have hand pruned azaleas that occupy a 2' x2' area each...7 years now...I could go on and on. One only needs to look at a 140 year old bonzi tree to know that just about anything can be kept within limits.

It is bonsai dude. The art of bonsai teaches directional pruning and learning growth characteristics of plants.

Good reading material for people that prune for a living.

Patriot Services
06-04-2011, 10:17 AM
I think guys are confusing pruning and shearing. I prune my fast growers in fall/ winter down here. During the growing season I am only shearing off new leaves not branches. This results in a maintained shape, fullness and minimum repeated injury to the plant.
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castle555
06-05-2011, 02:50 AM
Be careful not to create the V shaped shrub. Nature makes them gumdrop shaped on purpose. The taxus at the front door...try not to let the tops get wider than the bottom as this will "tell" the plant to stop growing down low...creating the V that you see everywhere.

The shrubs look good and the hedge is okay.

Excellent point regarding the growth of the plant. Most operatotrs out there just monkey-imitate what they think is the right way to trim a shrub because they saw it done that way. And it is sad to say that way too many things are still done like this in our line of work as unprofessional.
Many shrubs flower and I always inform the customer that they will not bloom if done at the wrong time of year. If the folks like it all green, all year, oh well.
Another point is that most technicians will tend to sweep outward from bottom to top as they trim because it is just a natural tendency to do so. Observe different crews while they trim and you will see this is very common.
One has to think about cutting back about 5 degrees off the vertical and maintain that plane when on the down or upstroke with the trimmer.
Some customers I have prefer a natural look to the shrubs and that takes skill and understanding of the branch structure -it also requires more time.

South Florida Lawns
06-07-2011, 10:10 PM
remember keep it wider at the base of the bush/plant so that it gets more sun and doesn't thin out. The round plants should not be a ball but more of a cylinder look.